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Chinese experts appealed for more efforts in intellectual property rights (IPR) protection for online images at a workshop in Beijing.

Experts in IPR protection and visual content suggested improvement in legal protection, establishing industry norms and more public awareness.

The workshop, hosted by the Copyright Society of China, was the first one to discuss copyright infringement of online images in China.

Online pictures are often "stolen" on popular services such as WeChat and Weibo, and those who post the images usually do not know they are violating IPR protection rules, said the experts.

"Public awareness of IPR protection is most important for copyright protection for online images," said Wang Ziqiang, an official from the Copyright Society of China.

Infringement is not just committed by individual users but also online organizations, including news providers and big companies.

According to Yang Dejia, a judge from the Beijing Haidian District People's Court, the district-level court tried more than 2,800 cases related to online image copyright infringement in the first seven months of 2017.

It is necessary to update the current IPR law and regulations to meet the new demands of today's digital world, said Lin Qiang, an official from the Images Copyright Society of China.

Chai Jijun, founder of Visual China Group, suggested a communication and cooperation plan with large Chinese Internet companies to protect online image copyright.

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