Popular websites that carried movies and other material which breached copyright laws have been closed in China as well as in many other countries. This seems to be almost a worldwide strike.
The move left millions of Chinese users disappointed after they checked out their favorite BitTorrent (BT) websites. BitTorrent distributes large amounts of data; much of it in breach of copyright.
Last week, many such sites were either gone completely or carrying messages advising that links to downloadable movies and TV shows were unavailable.
BTChina, a popular video sharing website, displayed a notice saying the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) had ordered it to close because it had no license to provide audio and video content. Our illustration shows that as of 8:33pm yesterday evening it was still up and running.UUbird.com, a similar site, had a message that said it would delete all links for downloading TV series and films by mid-February "to comply with the State’s laws and regulations."
This is part of an ongoing campaign. By the end of November, the authorities had shut 414 video and audio websites in 2009 for either operating without a license, containing pornography and other "harmful" content as well as copyright violations.
China.com reported that Chen Yongdong, an information management expert, said on his blog that the government will continue to strengthen its control over the online video market. "But, " he wrote, "BT applications will still be allowed to exist in China if these websites get permits and pay for the copyrights." This will entail a massive change of direction for most BitTorrent sites.