×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China’s vid websites take each other to court

Youku, Tudou lodge rival piracy suits

China’s two biggest online video site operators, New York Stock Exchange-listed Youku and Tudou, are locked in a bitter court battle, with each accusing the other of pirating their licensed video content.

Tudou alleges that Youku pirated episodes of TV skein, “Kangxi is Coming,” to which it owns exclusive online broadcast rights, and says Youku also provided links to the pirated content after Tudou asked for it to be taken down.

“Youku think they can live on free traffic without paying for the content and they are trying to hide the fact that they are actually not as competitive as they pretend to be,” Tudou CEO Gary Wang said in a statement.

For its part, Youku accuses Tudou of violating its intellectual property rights on more than 60 TV series, including “Wu Zetian: The Untold Story” and “The Emperor’s Harem.” It sent a statement with screen shots of the pirated content and said it had filed evidence with a Shanghai court.

“Since Tudou has repeatedly failed to remove the mountain of stolen intellectual property posted on their site while attempting to smear Youku in the press, Youku now has no choice but to pursue legal action. We stand firm in our principles and will defend our intellectual property against theft from all competitors.,” Youku spokesman Jean Shao said in an equally combative statement.

In August, Youku struck a deal with DreamWorks Animation for online distribution of the “Kung Fu Panda” franchise, making the studio’s films available online for the first time in China.

Youku and Tudou are bitter rivals in the fight to dominate the Chinese online video market, which has 400 million viewers and is emerging as the future of TV in China, where so many people watch on their handsets.

Youku has around 26% of the market and Tudou has some 15%. While both are seeing rising revenues, neither is profitable.

In the last couple of years, Chinese online video companies have started licensing content and creating their own skeins to woo auds.

The suits were filed mid-December in Beijing and Shanghai courts

There is a certain irony here given that both services started out aping the business model of YouTube, banned in China. But in recent years both have been keen to go legit.

More Digital

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Sirius Logo

    SiriusXM Unveils $8 Essential Plan for Consumers Without Cars

    SiriusXM wants to cater consumers without cars, or cars without compatible stereos, with a new $8 plan for mobile and in-home listening. Dubbed SiriusXM Essential, the plan offers access to 200+ channels featuring the network’s entire music programming, as well comedy, news and select sports channels. Consumers will be able to test the new plan [...]

  • Mueller Report Book Editions Top Amazon's

    Mueller Report Book Editions Shoot to Top of Best-Seller Lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

    Robert Mueller is now a best-selling author. Book publishers’ forthcoming editions of the special counsel’s report zoomed to the top of the Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s lists of book best-sellers Friday. That comes a day after the report was publicly released, culminating the nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election [...]

  • Marques Brownlee - Retro Tech

    YouTube Orders Marques Brownlee 'Retro Tech' Original Series

    YouTube has turned to one of its homegrown stars — technology vlogger Marques Brownlee, aka “MKBHD” — for its newest original series. The video platform has greenlit series “Retro Tech” featuring Brownlee, in which he’ll unbox and review vintage technology products that have defined pop culture. The show, slated to debut in December 2019, follows [...]

  • Netflix Tests Random Episode Button in

    Netflix Starts Testing Random Episode Button

    Netflix is testing a button to play random episodes of select TV shows, the company confirmed Friday morning. “We are testing the ability for members to play a random episode from different TV series on the Android mobile app,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety. “These tests typically vary in length of time and by region, [...]

  • Netflix Our Planet Sophie Darlington

    Netflix's 'Our Planet' Roars to Life With Work by Top Wildlife Cinematographers

    In terms of scope, production time and — very likely — budget, Netflix’s “Our Planet” is one of the most ambitious projects from the streaming service to date. Narrated by David Attenborough and made available worldwide on April 5, the goal of the eight-part series is to capture diverse habitats across the globe and highlight [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content