On­line vi­o­la­tions of news copy­rights tar­geted

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By SUN XIAOCHEN sunx­i­aochen@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A na­tion­wide crack­down on news-story copy­right in­fringe­ment on the In­ter­net was launched on Thurs­day.

The Na­tional Copy­right Ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced on Thurs­day the start of the 10th Jian­wang Oper­a­tion, an an­nual cam­paign against on­line piracy ini­ti­ated in 2005. Web­sites and me­dia plat­forms that post unau­tho­rized news links and re­pro­duc­tions are the ma­jor tar­gets this year.

“With­out sound su­per­vi­sion and tough pun­ish­ment, some new me­dia de­velop their busi­ness by il­le­gally pub­lish­ing con­tent pro­duced by tra­di­tional me­dia. It’s time to tackle this kind of copy­right vi­o­la­tion, which we used to ne­glect,” said Yan Xiao­hong, deputy di­rec­tor of the copy­right ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Be­gin­ning in June, the six­month cam­paign will scru­ti­nize pop­u­lar on­line news por­tals and ma­jor so­cial me­dia plat­forms for unau­tho­rized repub­lish­ing of news prod­ucts, and pun­ish vi­o­la­tors with the back­ing of law-en­force­ment de­part­ments.

The oper­a­tion will also urge print and dig­i­tal me­dia to es­tab­lish con­tent-shar­ing agree­ments while of­fer­ing le­gal con­sul­ta­tions for copy­right hold­ers against on­line piracy.

Jiang Jian­guo, head of the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Press, Pub­li­ca­tion, Ra­dio, Film and Tele­vi­sion, stressed that the crack­down has dared to tar­get some of the coun­try’s “most fa­mous and in­flu­en­tial” Web por­tals for po­ten­tial vi­o­la­tions.

“Some high-view­er­ship ar­ti­cles or videos on some on­line me­dia gi­ants are some­times bor­rowed from orig­i­nal pro­duc­ers with­out pay or au­tho­riza­tion, and pro­duced great ad­ver­tis­ing ben­e­fits for those web­sites. These vi­o­la­tions should be strictly pun­ished,” Jiang said.

Dis­putes be­tween tra­di­tional and new me­dia over news copy­rights have grown more in­tense in re­cent years, with a se­ries of es­tab­lished or­ga­ni­za­tions com­plain­ing about the un­bri­dled growth of news copy­right in­fringe­ment by on­line sites or apps.

The lat­est con­tro­versy oc­curred ear­lier this month when sev­eral leading In­ter­net por­tals ques­tioned the le­gal­ity of Toutiao.com’s post­ing news ar­ti­cles and pho­tos from other me­dia and asked the on­line news-read­ing app to stop its unau­tho­rized news links and re­pro­duc­tions.

People’s Daily re­ported that In­ter­net gi­ants, in­clud­ing Ten­cent.com and Sohu. com and news­pa­per Bei­jing Daily, all de­nied any work­ing re­la­tion­ship with Toutiao, al­though Toutiao CEO Zhang Yim­ing in­sisted that he had signed au­tho­riza­tion agree­ments with the or­ga­ni­za­tions to re­post their news links.

News for­warders such as Toutiao ar­gued that their web­site and apps guide read­ers to the orig­i­nal copy­right hold­ers’ web­site for fur­ther read­ing, and so the con­tent should be con­sid­ered a link collection rather than con­tent pla­gia­rism.

Law ex­perts said the dif­fer­ence be­tween copy­right in­fringe­ment and a le­gal link collection is slight and re­quires ex­tra at­ten­tion from ad­min­is­tra­tors dur­ing the cam­paign.

“If news ar­ti­cles are re­posted at length on link search­ing pages with­out per­mis­sion (as is done on Toutiao.com), it will be rec­og­nized as in­fringe­ment,” said Yu Guofu, a Bei­jing lawyer spe­cial­iz­ing in on­line in­tel­lec­tual rights in­fringe­ment.

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