(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 You Yunting) Recently, we noticed that a Beijing-based auction company was interested in selling letters and manuscripts, including those from the couple Mr. Qian Zhongshu and Ms. Yang Jiang (it should be noted both Mr. Qian and Ms. Yang are noted scholars in China). In addition, we have also seen letters from their daughter Ms. Qianyuan to Li Guoqiang, the chief editor of Hong Kong based magazine Guang Jiao Jing, and a manuscript of Mr. Qian’s work. In the meantime, some of the letters’ content has been disclosed to the media; in fact, following these disclosures there was apparent dissatisfaction from Mr. Qian’s widow, Yang Jiang, alleging that these public disclosures were in fact a violation of one’s private communication, and any public disclosure, by the media or otherwise, would be considered improper.
By You Yunting
Some friends raised me a question on Zhihu.com, a Quora like website in China, that Fang Zhouzi, a well known blogger in China, put his photographed picture of Han Han, in which Han’s background is the height table in jail , then could it be kind of reputation infringement against Han? (see http://weibo.com/1195403385/yiRc64nL7, http://weibo.com/1195403385/yiQZJhg1G)
The battle between Fang and Han is the hottest spot on China internet, and our website once posted articles to introduce the online battle and laws and regulations related. But from this January, Fang’s Weibo is flooded with more than 10 tweets against Han each day, which is truly annoying. As a man favoring Han Han, it’s truly a distress for me to face the question on Zhihu.com. But for the answer concerns the freedom of speech, though I could have refused it, I finally choose to share my opinions on it even there’s only boots rather than applauses ahead. Surely, the reply is only focusing on the “infringement” by two tweets in the links above.
The most notably and widely discussed issue around this Chinese New Year, to Bridge IP Law Commentary’s opinion, is probably not the traditional spring festival variety show on CCTV, but the argument between Fang Zhouzi, a self-claimed anti-fraud cop or myth buster, and Han Han, an acclaimed writer in China. The flame battle started from a blog by Mai Tian, a better-known blogger, doubting many works of Han Han are actually written by his father or other unnamed writer while published in his name. Despite it ends in Mai Tian’s apology and admission of mistake, the issue opens the Pandora’s box of doubts on Han Han. Afterwards, Fang Zhouzi took the relay baton, who was counter-backed by Han Han and his father, and moreover Han Han showed his original manuscript for proving. After days of online words war, Han Han filed the lawsuit for the reputation infringement and claimed the compensation of 100, 000 yuan.