The China Film Copyright Protection Association (CFCA), anon-profit organisation formed by 62 film-related companies, was officiallylaunched in Beijing on Monday.

Headedby former Shanghai Film Group president Zhu Yongde, the association aims tohelp the Chinese film industry to combat the nation's high levels of DVD, VCDand online piracy.

Apart from advising its members on copyright-related issues,the association also plans to make suggestions to the Chinese government ondrawing up a film copyright protection plan, promote copyright awarenessamongst consumers and take part in international exchanges with overseascounterparts.

"The association will protect not only Chinese-made filmsbut also imported films on commission," said Zhu.

Last month, Hollywood trade body the Motion PictureAssociation (MPA) signed an agreement with two Chinese government agencies -the Ministry of Culture and the State Administration of Radio, Film andTelevision - to co-operate in the fight against China's rampant piracy (,July 18).

MPA senior vice president and Asia Pacific director MikeEllis said he welcomed the formation of the CFCA. "I look forward to along-term working relationship with the association. This year marks the 100thanniversary of Chinese filmmaking and there is no better time for this agendato be on the platform," Ellis said.

Copyright protection will also be addressed in the upcomingChina Motion Picture Industry Promotion Law which is expected to provide alegal foundation for a wide range of issues that affect the Chinese filmindustry including piracy and the long-gestating film ratings system.