Opinion / Opinion Line

Web giant Tencent obligated to tackle pirated content

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-02-03 09:06

Web giant Tencent obligated to tackle pirated content

For every one writer there are 99 parates, ready to copy - that sentence, quoted from a recent Xinhua News Agency report, best describes the rampant violation of copyrights on WeChat, a social media platform popular in China. Many accounts do not produce any original content at all and all they post are copied articles. Comments:

In order to expand the market for WeChat, its creator and operator Tencent adopted a strategy of loose supervision over piracy and the toleration of copyright violations. However, now that WeChat is the market leader the copyright protection is still inadequate. Besides, there is hardly any law covering copyright protection on social networks. To make it worse, ordinary WeChat users only read free articles everyday, without troubling to report any that have been copied and so helping the original writers defend their rights. To address the problem of piracy requires the efforts of all sides, namely Tencent, the government and users.

Beijing News, Feb 2

Eighty percent of WeChat users prefer to read articles that are forwarded by their friends, instead of subscribing to accounts publishing original work. Following this rule, professional copiers that copy large quantities of articles and market them all day long easily gain advantage over original writers.

Tencent Analysis, a think tank on Internet affairs, Feb 1

Tencent says it is difficult for it to eliminate copied articles, the quantity of which is huge. But to strike piracy is the duty of Tencent and difficulty does not exempt it from this duty. Besides, why not encourage users to report them? There are always more readers than pirates, and all Tencent needs to do is to establish a credit system in which copiers pay for their deeds.

He Yifan, chief editor of China Entrepreneur magazine, Feb 2

Lack of copyright protection discourages writers from creating original material for WeChat, and the platform will soon lose all its original writers and be filled with chicken-soup-for-the-soul plus commercial advertisements. Creativity is dying on WeChat.

Wang Xiaolei, owner of a WeChat publishing account, Feb 1

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