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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Claims of piracy fly between top two video portals (2)

By Wang Yi (China Daily)

11:20, December 28, 2011

Youku said it will file suit against Tudou in both Beijing and Shanghai asking for more than 100 million yuan in compensation.

Xinhua news agency cited Shi Yihua, business director of the Shanghai Multimedia Industry Association, saying that "no matter who is right, the dispute over copyrights is to some degree a blow against infringements".

Legal, copyrighted content has become central in the portals' battle over market share, industry insiders said.

Prices for legitimate popular films and TV series have surged over the past year from 10,000 yuan an episode a year ago to 1 million yuan or even 2 million yuan currently. bought the exclusive online rights for the TV series New My Fair Princess for 20 million yuan in July, while - operator of, one of the largest Web portals in China - paid 70 million yuan in October for the exclusive online rights to the new TV series Palace II.

While purchase prices for copyrighted content are skyrocketing, penalties for infringement remain light.

According to the intellectual property website, "the penalties for online video piracy are too low".

"It may take several months to go through legal proceedings and the final compensation might be just 10,000 yuan," it reports.

But many video websites are now publicly traded companies - Youku is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Tudou is on the NASDAQ - so use of legal content is no longer a voluntary act in business, said Liu Chunquan, a senior partner of a Shanghai law firm.

Stock prices and the market add another layer of governance, he said.

【1】 【2】


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