Shenzhen Intellectual Property Office has recently drafted the "Regulations on Protection of the Internet Software Intellectual Property Rights of Shenzhen" to fight the software infringements.

This is the first time for the Shenzhen government to raise the fight against the Internet software infringements to a legal level. The regulations are currently undergoing a public consultation, which will end on October 25, 2008.

The regulations focus on the Internet account theft and provide clear penalty means for activities such as stealing of other people's personal and confidential information. The regulations say that production, publication and dissemination of malicious software shall be prohibited and it is not allowed to steal other people's confidential information, including certificates for using software and other online IDs. Any person who violates the regulations will be punished with a fine of CNY30,000 to CNY50,000.

At the same time, the Chinese Internet service providers have the obligation to cooperate with the work of the law enforcement department and provide the information of suspects, including their names, contacts and network location addresses.

In addition to the protection on online IDs, the regulations say that the obligees have the right to protect the copyright of their software. For example, they can adopt protection functions such as encryption software communication protocols, software installation licenses, software registration certificates and digital watermarkings. Any person who issues these certifications without authorization; who breaks or counterfeits the software communications protocol; who breaks the digital watermarking; and who avoids or breaks the anti-piracy technology and equipment of software will be punished with a fine of CNY30,000 to CNY70,000.

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