4 Nov 2009 12:27

Copyright holders bemoan lack of protection on Web sites

Beijing. November 4. INTERFAX-CHINA - Video sharing and video broadcast Web sites should be more proactive in protecting copyrights, content providers said at an industry conference in Beijing on Nov. 3.

"During the conference, which was attended by industry leaders like the state-owned China Film & Television Production Co. Ltd. and Youku.com, copyright holders urged video sharing and video broadcast sites to change their current profit model to implement user fees to watch copyrighted material, a source, who requested anonymity, told Interfax on Nov. 4.

Currently, online video sites rely heavily on revenue generated by advertisements and do not generally charge to view content.

According to the source, copyright holders said that advertisements negatively affect viewer experience and Web sites should instead charge users who choose to view copyrighted content.

The source said that video Web sites are only willing to pay between RMB 1,000 ($146.45) to RMB 2,000 ($292.89) per episode for copyrighted TV shows, which content producers sell to traditional broadcasters for RMB 200,000 ($29,292.59) to RMB 300,000 ($43,938.71).

"Copyright holders are in a tough position. Fees for cooperating with these Web sites are low, but the cost of litigating copyright infringement cases can run high. It is also exceedingly difficult to prosecute copyright infringement against such Web sites as it is a common claim made that the unauthorized content was uploaded by individual users and not by the Web site itself," the source told Interfax.

Video-sharing Web sites have their own dilemmas, as Chinese consumer behavior has shown that most people are not willing to pay for Internet services, said the source.