Opinion / Editorials

New media and copyright

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-10 08:10

The developer of the Chinese news app Today's Headlines recently announced a fresh injection of capital, including funds from US-based venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, that has raised its value to over $500 million.

However, media organizations are accusing the news aggregator of infringing copyrights as the app has failed to obtain agreements to use their content.

Given that, for years, the awareness of copyright protection has remained weak in China, the latest media campaign to protect copyright should be encouraged.

But the media companies should realize that Today's Headlines, which promotes the idea that what readers care about most grabs the headlines, is a new type of product that represents what is expected from the media in today's society, said a commentary in Southern Metropolis Daily on Saturday.

The Internet and mobile devices stress the importance of an immediate and constant exchange between providers and users, which holds the key to offering content that the users want.

Today's Headlines is an app with the defining features of prioritizing readers' needs and personalizing their news reading experience based on data mining and analysis. Its practice of collecting users' feedback in real time is likely to become the essential link in future news production and media marketing.

That the app is as a self-proclaimed "news porter" instead of news producers is a source of irritation to the traditional media, as it is a channel through which their stories can be delivered efficiently. Yet, this embodies subdivision, which is conducive to the development of the media sector on the premise that each part can reach consensus on how to distribute the profits and remove the barriers to their cooperation, including the dispute over copyright infringement.

It is still hard to tell whether the success of Today's Headlines is only a flash in the pan, but one thing for sure is that the time has come for the subdivision of the media industry.

It is vitally important that the traditional media protect their copyrighted material, but it is meanwhile of far-reaching significance for them to maintain their advantage in news production while seeking cooperation with other emerging competitors that are specialized in news delivery and media marketing.

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