E-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group says it is taking copyright infringement seriously as it broadens its agreement with a Chinese industry coalition.
The International Publishers Copyright Protection Coalition in China signed a memorandum of understanding with Alibaba to combat copyright infringement on the AliExpress global retail marketplace as well as Taobao Marketplace. Both websites are owned by Alibaba.
The agreemeent broadens the scope of an earlier agreement signed in August 2011. The IPCC includes 17 leading international publishers.
In the past, Alibaba and its affiliates have come under pressure from U.S., Chinese, and European governments for hosting companies, reselling services, and providing products that allegedly infringe on other businesses' copyrights and trademarks. This pressure and media exposure has tarnished Alibaba's image, especially overseas prior to its recent initial public offering.
To strengthen the protection of the intellectual property rights of IPCC member organizations, Alibaba Group and the IPCC will collaborate more closely through regular communication and exchange of information. In addition, the IPCC will assist Alibaba Group to identify product listings of potentially infringing products offered for sale by third parties on Taobao Marketplace or AliExpress, and Taobao Marketplace and AliExpress will take appropriate actions to remove such infringing products.
Alibaba Group's cooperation with the IPCC dates back to December 2010 when the parties rolled out a special joint-program specific to Taobao Marketplace that resulted in the removal of close to 1,000 pirated publications. Subsequent to the signing of the 2011 MoU, Alibaba Group has offered training workshops on the use of its intellectual property infringement reporting system to various IPCC members.