How to Resolve Online Video Copyright Disputes in China: Administration Supervision or Lawsuit?

How to combat video infringement, by administrative supervision or lawsuit? We’ve got different answers from the company and the government, and the following is the news related:

NEWS 1: By the report of on 29th December, 2011, Mr. Charles Zhang, CEO of SOHU, stated that the best way to improve the protection on copyright is the lawsuit. His comment is during the heated battle on video copyright between Youku (NYSE: YOKU) and Tudou (NASDAQ: TUDO).

Actually, SOHU does not stop in the words. Early in 2009, SOHU initiated China Internet Video Anti-Piracy Association, and accompanied with started the first copyright war against the infringement by the leading company in the industry like Youku, Tudou and Xunlei. Afterwards, there saw a rocketing price of the films or TV programs.

NEWS 2: Only one day later, Mr. Yu Cike, the head officer of the copyright office of the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC), released the result of the active regulation on 18 video webs in 2011 on 30th December, by which Tudou, BAOFENG, FUNSHION are demanded to remove the video with no or vague license, UUSee and VeryCD have both been put on the list a second time due to poor overall compliance, and add Xunlei to its copyright non-compliance list.

It’s also released that the NCAC has made the exposure draft of the Management Measures to the Active Regulation on Video Websites and the System of Black List and Non-compliance List of the Active Regulation on Video Websites, which will be officially promulgated after the argument by public opinion. Such releases show that the administration will strengthen the supervision and regulation on the video industry.

On the different voice from the government and the industry, Bridge IP Law Commentary thinks both infringement combat ways have their own advantage, while the judicial solution could play a more constructive role from the aspect of industry development and copyright protection. For the administrative regulation, though efficient, can hardly effects persistently, for example, shortly after the recent Jianwang Action (Sword Net Action) against the cyber infringement, there emerged the copyright dispute between Youku and Tudou, the most biggest video sharing portal in China.

In our opinion, what’s urgent shall be the improvement on the compensation sum. In the current judicial practices, the standard is less satisfactory to the basic Return Principle, and not to say the Punitive Compensation. The inadequate compensation standard actually fueled the spreading of the infringement, damaging the interest of the legal operator. We believe once the compensation standard could be adjusted to follow the economic laws, the internet video industry could soon come into the virtuous cycle of valuing and protecting the genuine products with the guard of judicial decisions.

Other posts on our website:
1. The Actual Term of Trademark Registration in China
2. How to Apply for the Trademark Record in China Custom
3. How to improve the success rate of trademark registration in China?
4. Matters for Attention in Trademark Refusal Review in China
5. Introduction of China’s Legal System of Trademark Renewal
6. Introduction on the Regulations concerning the Capital Contribution in IPR or Domain Name in China
7. The Copyright Registration in China Could Be FREE?
8. China Copyright Protection Term Longer than EU’s?
9. Matters for Attention in the Patent Preliminary Injunction Application in China(I)

Author: Mr. Albert Chen
Attorney-at-law of DeBund Law Offices
Co-author: Mr. You Yunting
Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Bridge IP Law Commentary
Partner & Attorney-at-law of Shanghai DeBund Law Offices
Email:, Tel: 8621-5213-4900,
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Bridge IP Law Commentary is a website focus on the introduction of commercial laws in China, especially the intellectual property laws. All the posts here are our original works. And all news or cases referred here are from public reports, and our comments or analysis are of due diligence, neutrality and impartiality, representing our own opinions only and are our original works. You may contact us shall you have any opinions or suggestions.

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