It seems the industry crackdown against plagiarism and copyright infringement is getting even more serious as various artists and production companies have now turned their eye towards short video platforms. At the beginning of the year, we all saw how popular screenwriters Guo Jingming and Yu Zheng were basically cancelled after the industry-wide boycott on the grounds of plagiarism.
This time, it’s the short video platforms that are getting the heat. On April 25, more than 500 industry professionals including Li Bingbing, Gong Jun, Yang Mi, Zhao Liying, Dilraba Dilmurat, Huang Xuan, Yang Ying, etc have joined forces with 17 film and television industry associations, 54 film and television companies and 5 video streaming platforms to voice out their opposition against the unauthorised use of original works in online short clips.
The joint statement basically calls online video platforms to actively participate in content compliance governance and must immediately remove videos with unauthorised editing, handling and compilation of film and television content. Platforms must also ensure its systems are equipped to inhibit content creators from uploading content which violates the above conditions.
On the other hand, for individual content creators, the statement calls for them to increase their awareness against plagiarism and copyright infringement and to fully respect content created by the film and television industry. This means not releasing any highlights, on-site materials, Reuters videos etc related to the actors during the filming of film and television content sans approval.
As the consumption of digital media continues to grow exponentially over the years, concern over copyright infringement amongst video clips readily available online also continues to grow. In fact, the State Council Information Office has already identified yesterday its five year plan defining a framework for intellectual property protection. Yu Cike, Director of the Copyright Administration from the Central Propaganda Department also affirmed during a press conference yesterday that the government will continue to increase its crackdown against copyright violations of short videos.
Even before the proposal becomes a reality, the biggest question now is how it affects fan edits and fan made review videos which also provide free publicity for artists and their projects.
Netizens argue that the buzz generated from fan made clips and edits far outweighs any marketing promotions done by production companies. For one thing, fan edits and word of mouth are great avenues for low budget dramas to easily put the word out and generate lots of hype without breaking the bank. And this also holds true if you want to grow your reach to international subscribers since fan edits can be shared faster through other platforms like Twitter, Instagram or Youtube.
For the most part, it is thanks to fan edits and reviews that many drama fans stumble upon their favourite shows or look forward to upcoming releases that somehow making things harder sounds counter productive.