What kinds of Copyright Shall Television Watch-back Services Be?

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(By You Yunting) The U.S-based TiVo Inc. developed and marketed its TiVo, a digital video recorder (DVR), which can provide programs and services like on-demand and watch-back for its users. Similar to TiVo, Chinese cable operators and cable television stations provides similar services for its programs, shows and services. This means that users who miss the program can choose an on-demand program on the television. However, cable television stations are generally purchasing the right of broadcasting for the program, without the right of communication of information via a network. This purchase is at risk of copyright infringement. In a previous post Which Copyright Should an Internet TV Operator Purchase?, we discussed the difference between the right of broadcasting and the right of communication of information via network. Today we will introduce such a typical case in the following.

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Is School Teaching a Method of Publicizing Work in China?

(By Luo Yanjie) According to the Copyright Law, the copyright holder has more than ten exclusive rights. The copyright holder is often unclear about the differences between the exclusive rights and may have a very vague understanding of the fair use system, a system which can cut against the copyright. Although the case introduced in this essay is fundamentally not a rights protection case, the judgement clarifies the methods used for publication and expands the scope of the fair use copyright exception. The following is a summary and analysis of the case:

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Is School Teaching a Method of Publicizing Work in China?

(By Luo Yanjie) According to the Copyright Law, the copyright holder has more than ten exclusive rights. Because of the many kinds of works and complexity of society’s use of the work, the copyright holder is often unclear about the differences between the exclusive rights and may have a very vague understanding of the fair use system, a system which can cut against the copyright. Although the case introduced in this essay is fundamentally not a rights protection case, the judgment clarifies the methods used for publication and expands the scope of the fair use copyright exception. The following is a summary and analysis of the case:

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Why a Chinese Court Judged Apple Inc. to Be the Actual Operator of the AppStore Rather than iTunes S.A.R.L?

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(By Albert Chen) Recently, in the right to network dissemination of information dispute between Li Chengpeng, a well-known Chinese writer, and Apple, a Beijing judge held Apple as the actual operator of the App Store, even though the company had maintained that iTunes S.A.R.L (“iTunes”) is the actual operator, a fact afterwards admitted by iTunes. So, today’s post will introduce the reasoning used by the first instance court in its decision.

Li filed the lawsuit with the Beijing No.2 Intermediate People’s Court (“Intermediate Court”) on January 16, 2012, claiming that his latest work “李可乐抗拆记” was made into an app downloadable in App Store for free reading, which infringed his right to network dissemination of information. Additionally, as the operator, manager, and owner of the App Store, Apple should assume liability. Based on these points, Li demanded compensation for economic damages in the amount of 305,000 yuan and reasonable expenses in the amount of 5,425 yuan.

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How to Determine Infringement Conducts in Copyright Disputes in China Courts?

(By Luo Yanjie) The Getty Images (Beijing) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Getty”) provided the court with a product brochure naming defendants Shanghai Shuote Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Shuote”) and Shanghai Yikang Co., Ltd. (the “Yikang”). Getty claimed that the brochure was procured from the 6th International Tire Exhibition in Shanghai during 19th to 20th of May 2009. The defendant argued that they had neither printed nor used the brochure. However, the plaintiff provided substantial evidence to prove that the brochure could only have been printed by the defendant; regardless, the defendants failed to provide any explanation proving otherwise. On the other hand, the court had solid reasons to presume both defendants had engaged in the printing and using of the brochure.

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Analysis on the Assumption of Liability in the Serv-U Infringement Lawsuit in China

(By Luo Yanjie) Serv-U is a kind of widely adopted FTP server terminal software, and its main function is to help the transmission of documents on websites. Because the software is relatively small and the normal user has no way to sense the server terminal, many domestic websites in China are now using pirated Serv-U. For this reason, Rhino Software Inc., the developer of Serv-U has been continuously fighting against the piracy of its software, a story which has recently been widely reported. The list of companies sued includes LockLock from South Korea, as well as Netac and eMule, among others. The compensation claimed in these cases ranges from half a million yuan to 1.99 million yuan.

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How to Judge the Copyright Holder of Cinematographic Work in China?

(By Luo Yanjie) In a previous infringement case against cinematographic we handled, the plaintiff submitted several articles of evidence to the court, which showed that the work belonged to different copyright holders: according to a certificate issued by the Hong Kong Copyright Center, it was Copyrighter A’s property while the subtitle authorship rights belonged to Copyrighter B. And yet, as demonstrated by a license agreement, C shall be the exclusive holder of the copyright. That made the plaintiff argue for his ownership of the copyright. In fact, due to the complexity in determining copyright ownership, contradictory disputes like the one described above are quite common in actual practice. In today’s post we will share our understanding of the issue.

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Why the Cybercafé could be Exempted from the Liability of Pirate Video Broadcast?

By You Yunting

In the past few days, a Beijing court published a case (note: the link is in Chinese) involving a cybercafé who has purchased the Video-on-demand (VOD) system, and that made the court refuse the claims of the plaintiff though the right holder proved the piracy in the VOD.

VV8.com Company, a professional video system provider to cybercafé invested by IDG and Disney, detected the pirated TV drama against its copyright in the video system of a cybercafé. And then, the right holder filed a lawsuit against the piracy. The cybercafé afterwards argued that the system was purchased by it from Hero Inc. Company, who is a third party video provider, and in that transaction, both parties has agreed that all the copyright dispute shall be handled by Hero Inc.. Moreover, all the contents in the system are updated and ciphered by Hero Inc. with remote control, thus the cybercafé could not delete any videos in it. In the lawsuits, VV8.com expressed no intention to add Hero Inc. as the co-defendant and make no claim thereby.

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The Successful Transformation of VeryCD: China’s Biggest Download Website Becomes a Webgame Company

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(By  Huang Mengren) The21st Century Business Herald has reported (note: the link is in Chinese) that eMule, one of the biggest video, music and game resource sharing websites in China, has had early success in webgaming after its abandonment of downloadable content hosting, with a current monthly income of tens of millions yuan.

VeryCD, who introduced the open source software eMule into China in 2003, is the 462nd most visited website according to Alexa as of 7th February 2012. The software eMule is a P2P web sharing software based on open source code, and its main difference from the P2P sharing software Bit Torrent is that it works without the torrent file and tracker. Therefore, the operational risk to the operator of the software is much lower in theory than that of other BT sites. The report states that VeryCD.com made modifications to the eMule software for the avoidance of political risk and also shielded KAD research service. It is also stated in the report that the total cumulative downloads from VeryCD.com’s eMule are more than 30 million times.

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