Here come the Copyright Police!


It had to happen – while fuddy duddy Britain enforces copyright protection through dull sounding organisations such as the Federation Against Copyright Theft, the Chinese government has gone all 21st century and introduced animated copyright police characters that will patrol the web there.

From 1st September, animated beat cops will patrol thirteen of China’s top Web portals in an effort to steer some 137 million internet users in the country away from illegal content.

Pictured here are is an image released by the Beijing Public Security Bureau who will soon begin patrolling the web using these animated beat cops which will pop up on a user’s browser and walk, bike or drive across the screen warning them to stay away from illegal Internet content and material “the Communist Party finds politically or morally threatening.”

By the end of the year, the animated warning will appear on all websites registered with Beijing servers.

The Washington Post reports that China stringently polices the Internet for material and content that the ruling Communist Party finds politically or morally threatening. The government also routinely blocks surfers from accessing overseas sites and closes down domestic Web sites deemed obscene or subversive. But despite the controls, nudity, profanity, illegal gambling and pirated music, books and film have proliferated on Chinese Internet servers.

Designed by leading Chinese web firm and search engine Sohu, the male and female cartoon characters are meant to startle users and remind them that the government is monitoring Web
usage. Additionally, if surfers need police assistance, they can click on the characters, which link to the police authority’s website.

JudgeIn a statement, the Beijing Public Security Ministry said, “We will continue to promote new images of the virtual police and update our Internet security tips in an effort to make the image of the virtual police more user-friendly and more in tune with how Web surfers use the Internet.”

So, what would British copyright police look like? How about this Judge Dredd-inspired design from top illustrator Gary Hall, which he sent us earlier in the year?

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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