Youku Takes the IP High Road

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Nice to see the mainstream media running a positive story about China IP. Not something you see too often. This one is in Businessweek and it describes video file sharing site Youku’s efforts to go legit by: taking down unauthorized copyrighted works; making distribution deals with content owners; and getting into the sponsored webisode (short content) biz.

FYI, Youku is not the only Chinese site that is cleaning up the IP infringement; although there have been bumps in the road (e.g. Baidu and its ongoing fight with Chinese writers), a great deal of progress is being made. As I’ve written before, a combination of factors has pushed these sites to become better IP citizens.

For the video file sharing sites, an offshore listing (or anticipated listings) is probably the most significant factor. These days, you can’t be a public company in the US while basing your business strategy on infringement-motivated web traffic.

One response on “Youku Takes the IP High Road

  1. luckylulu

    TheI Baidu case should be taught in your IP classes. What is disturbing is that it brings to the forefront the problems of IP enforcement in China. If your a repeat offender (infringer) deny that it is happening, then contest the law, play the venue shopping game, quietly remove links to portray a superficial compliance with the law, pull the guangxi connections, ignore that you were convicted in a Shanghai ct,
    When sued again over the same copyright infringement matter plead amnesia, say that you didn’t know, claim that the chinese copyright law is unclear, apologize to the Chinese authors (I guess that foreign ones don’t really matter) and finally, claim that every search engine in China does it so – what can you expect. In fact, the Chinese law is clear – just some courts interpret it differently.
    How are Chinese youth supposed to have respect for IP law when the biggest search engine plays the “copyright law with Chinese characteristics” defense.