China’s Porn Pirates Earn Extra Government Attention
Whether they’re kidnapping ship captains or infringing on copyright, the world is increasingly hostile to pirates – unless they’re starring in Hollywood blockbuster or a Digital Playground title featuring Jesse Jane and Evan Stone. In China, pirates of all sorts are unpopular – but porn related pirates are considered the worst of all.
According to IDG News Service, approximately 30 members of various pirating rings have been arrested or sentenced during the past few months. At issue has been the originating source of hundreds of thousands of DVDs – some of which have included pornographic imagery.
While the ostensive excuse for the crackdown on pirates has been a deep and abiding respect for copyright, the Chinese government’s outrage at pornography is believed to be the driving force behind the prosecutions.
Although pirated DVDs, software and books can easily be found amidst the street corners and shops of China, it is those that depict intimate sexual contact between adults that has earned the government’s greatest condemnation. Since January alone, dozens of individuals have been arrested for real or imagined links to erotic content and more than 2,000 websites have been forced offline.
China’s General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) website claims that so far 13 people from two different pirate rings have been found guilty of violating copyright and, probably more importantly, selling obscene materials. Sentences have tended to include prison terms ranging up to seven years and fines of as much as $15,400. Another dozen suspects were detained during the month of March.
Although the GAPP site states that a mere 10,000 of the nearly 380,000 pirated materials were pornographic, another statement indicates that the ultimate goals of the anti-piracy push have more to do with suppressing sexual speech than defending intellectual property.