(By You Yunting) Recently, Chinese governments have cracked down on the spreading of rumors online, and have arrested some web users for allegedly fabricating or disseminating online rumors. A lot of netizens have voiced their objections that this crackdown suppressed the “proper freedom of speech.” In our opinion, theoretically, online rumors shall better be handled through other means of self-remedy, such as the victims filing civil or criminal lawsuits against the alleged rumormongers. However, government intervention is in some cases a realistic necessity to more effectively crackdown online rumors, because in some cases the victims hurt by online rumors cannot file a lawsuit on their own initiative, often resulting from a failure to discern the rumormonger’s identity.
(By Albert Chen) Hainan Netcom is an Internet Service Provider (“ISP”), but it also provides the content on the Internet. Even after the company failed todemonstrate that the IP address is used by a third party, and it fulfilled its obligation to check the content of the webpage, the company should still be liable for any corresponding infringement.
Beijing Ciwen Filming Co., Ltd. (“Company C”) is the copyright holder of film Qi Jian (also known as “Seven Sword”) in mainland China. However, Company C discovered that Hainan Netcom hadbeen providing a link on its homepage (www.hai169.com) for its visitors to stream Qi Jian, without the authorization of Company C.As a result,in September of 2005, Company C filed a lawsuit against Hainan Netcom because it believed that Hainan Netcom had infringed upon its copyright.
(By Albert Chen) Hainan Netcom is an Internet Service Provider (“ISP”), but it also provides the content on the Internet. For the URL available on its web pages, the company should be obligated to take an even higher care with regards to its content. Even after the company fails to demonstrate that the IP address is used by a third party, and it has fulfilled its obligation to check the content of the webpage, the company should still be liable for any corresponding infringement.