Tudou Definitely Looking for that Safe Harbor

0 Comment

Yesterday’s post on copyright infringement litigation and video file sharing sites would have been better served if I had waited a couple of hours and seen this bit of news:

Shanghai-based video site Tudou.com is testing a reporting system for copyright owners that is expected to launch after China’s week-long Spring Festival holiday, which begins January 26, reports Beijing Star Daily. Copyright owners can use the system to ask Tudou.com to delete or share revenue from copyrighted material.

Beijing-based competitor Youku.com CEO Victor Koo said Youku.com has partnerships with several of the members of an anti-piracy alliance that intends to sue Tudou.com for more than RMB 10 million, reports Sohu. Nearly 80 content providers including Joy.cn, Polybona, Orange Sky Entertainment and SFS Emperor, a joint venture between EEG and Shanghai Film Group Corporation, have joined the alliance.

As I stated yesterday, there are lawsuits galore these days, in places like the U.S. and China, focusing on service provider/operator liability. If users are allowed to upload and store infringing video clips on a site, what should be the legal consequences for operators of those sites? As the law (in both the U.S. and China) sets out certain types of procedures an operator may take to minimize such liability, how should these procedures be evaluated by judges — how much is good enough to escape penalties?

So, facing such onslaughts, Tudou is putting together a notice and takedown procedure designed to limit their liability. I would love to see the details, how the plan is ultimately implemented, and what effect the program will have on incidents of copyright infringement moving forward. Then we’ll see whether the program will help in shielding Tudou from all those rapacious lawyers working for IP owners. Good luck to them.