Publishers Double-down on Anti-piracy Collaboration with Alibaba

By | Small Business

Alibaba Group is expanding its collaboration with a China-based group of international publishers in an effort to curtail sales of pirated books and journals offered by vendors using Alibaba’s China and international marketplaces.

Announced today, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Alibaba and the International Publishers Copyright Protection Coalition in China (IPCC) is an expansion of a previous agreement between the organizations reached in 2011 to combat copyright infringement. That agreement covered Alibaba’s Taobao Marketplace; the new MoU calls for Alibaba to also work with the IPCC to weed out pirated publications on AliExpress, the Chinese e-commerce giant’s global retail marketplace that is a popular online shopping destination in emerging countries including Russia and Brazil.

“The large scale and rapid growth of the e-commerce environment requires continuous and stronger collaboration with platform operators to effectively battle IPR infringement activities,” said Hugo Zhang, chairman of the IPCC, a coalition of 17 leading publishers including Elsevier, Oxford University Press, Wiley and Macmillan. “The deepening of our partnership with Alibaba Group is the next logical step to not just protect the legal interests of our community of global publishers, but those of Chinese and international consumers as well,” Zhang said in a statement.

The IPCC and Alibaba Group agreed to “collaborate more closely through regular communication and exchange of information,” the organizations said in a joint press release. Under the expanded MoU, the IPCC will help Alibaba identify product listings of potentially infringing products. Taobao Marketplace and AliExpress agreed to “take appropriate actions to remove such infringing products.”

Alibaba Group and the IPCC began working together in 2010 in a program with Taobao Marketplace that resulted in the take-downs of close to 1,000 pirated products.

Ni Liang, Alibaba Group’s senior director of intellectual property protection, called the expanded collaboration “a significant step” toward safeguarding the interests of rights owners.

“As our business ecosystem encompasses an increasingly diverse range of online sellers, it is more important now than ever for us to be able to join forces with partners and stakeholders to effectively identify and take down infringers,” Ni said in a statement.

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