Video websites strip content

By Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2014-11-24 0:13:01

Experts link it to broad copyright crackdown, one of China's leading websites providing crowdsourced subtitles and video resources to Web users, announced on Saturday that it has been temporarily shut down and is "clearing [its] content.", another website collecting and providing free subtitles for foreign movies and TV series, also announced its closure on Saturday.

The identity of the department behind the shutdowns and their motives have not been revealed yet. But some experts speculated that the move might be related to pressure from copyright authorities.

In late October, announced on its Sina Weibo account  that "due to copyright pressures," it would completely eliminate all links to resources lacking a copyright by the end of November, reported news portal

The website suggested visitors turn to overseas websites to find said resources. But the post was quickly deleted.

The closure of the two popular websites has generated mounting complaints from Web users, saying that it ruins their chances to see their favorite overseas movies and TV series.

More than 51 million users joined a discussion on the topic of "good bye to US TV series" on Sina Weibo, as of press time.

"The authorities' move was meant to strengthen copyright protection regulations, as providing free downloads of movies and subtitles fostered the spread of piracy," Zhuang Xihai, a former TV host and a producer and now a professor at the Southwest University in Chongqing, told the Global Times.

 Yyets was included in a blacklist of websites providing downloads of pirated works released by the US-based Motion Picture Association of America in October.

Zhao Zhanling, legal counsel with the Internet Society of China, told the Global Times that now in China only the movie channel of China Central Television is legally allowed to purchase overseas films and TV series, according to the regulations of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT).

Zhao said the regulator had previously not strictly enforced regulations against video streaming websites buying the rights to overseas films and TV series.

But with the latest closures of the two websites, as Shanghai-based China Business News reported, the regulation of online video is becoming stricter, and commercial websites like Youku and Sohu that have bought a number of overseas TV series may see some of their content deleted.

According to SAPPRFT regulations, foreign TV series and films can only be broadcast after approval by authorities, according to media reports.

In April, China began a campaign to "clean up" the Internet that saw popular US TV shows such as The Big Bang Theory and The Good Wife removed from video streaming sites. Authorities claim the sites had either infringed on copyrights or were broadcasting controversial sexual or political content.


Newspaper headline: Experts link it to broad copyright crackdown

Posted in: Society

blog comments powered by Disqus