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Is change in the air?

January 20, 2010

China’s leading video site Youku (think China’s YouTube) announced yesterday that it would be implementing a new copyright identification management platform increasing the company’s capability of preventing the uploading of material that infringes copyright laws.

The release also states:

The pioneering introduction of this copyright identification system in China will effectively accelerate the industry’s movement toward legitimate content, and will serve as an important protective measure for the Internet video industry.

I believe this is a groundbreaking step forward in mainland China and a big leap for intellectual property protection in general.  Currently a vast amount of content is available on Youku that infringes the copyrights of companies both in China and abroad.  Hundreds of English websites like SurftheChannel have popped up in recent years linking to US television shows hosted on Youku that users can watch for free. China’s lenience towards intellectual property on the internet is not just a domestic problem but a global one.

This puts a substantial amount of pressure on other video providers like Tudou and will hopefully lead to more internet companies on the mainland implementing similar systems to provide their users with legitimate content.  The question is, will users just migrate to other video providers that fail to monitor the content uploaded onto their websites?  Only time will tell.

What do you think?

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