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Guangzhou karaoke bars face the music

Guangzhou liaison office of the China Audio and Video Association has taken steps to stop KTV bar operators and VOD technology suppliers from using unauthorized music. The office recently appealed to the city's copyright bureau to take action against suspected bar operators and suppliers. The bureau has urged two KTV bar operators in the city to take part in an administrative investigation and has joined forces with the municipal cultural market comprehensive execution team and public security bureau to investigate two karaoke VOD suppliers to confiscate their products and business documents.

Amy Yang, of Lehman, Lee and Xus, has commented that ¡°KTV bar operators have always been the loser in the lawsuits launched by the Association. However, operators still try to escape royalty payments through various techniques. That strategy may not work any longer since the Association has taken more proactive measures to defend artists¡¯ copyright. This is part of a broader crackdown on intellectual property infringement in China¡±.

Guangzhou karaoke bars face the music(China Daily)


China Entertainment 0 Comment July 15, 2008, 3:41 pm

U. S. Record Companies vs. Baidu, Redux

After losing their lawsuit last fall in the People's High Court of Beijing, Warner Music Group, Vivendi SA and Sony Corp have turned to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry to file a suit in their behalf against two popular Chinese search engines, seeking record damages of US$9 million from Baidu and US$7.5 million from Sohu.com, according to China Daily. The suit, filed in February, was accepted this month by the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court.

According to China Daily:

The lawsuits against Baidu and Sohu may make Chinese Internet companies liable for more damages. Compensation in the cases was calculated on the basis of $71,000 in damages per track, the record-industry federation says in an e-mailed statement. The $9 million being sought from Baidu is based on copyright violations for 127 songs, while the IFPI says the Web site offers links to more than 250,000 pirated tracks.

Should the suit be found in the record companies' favor, search engines' liability for links to pirated music would grow astronomically: the requested damages exceed the U. S. dollar-denominated value of the largest work-injury compensation to date, RMB 60 million shared among 148 plaintiffs.


China Entertainment 0 Comment April 14, 2008, 2:52 pm

Tang Wei Blacklisted

Tang Wei, leading actress of last year's thriller "Lust, Caution," has been blacklisted by the State Administration of Radio Film and Television. A recent television for skin care brand Pond's was pulled by the agency's order on Thursday night.

According to the Hollywood Reporter (not a usual source for China Law Blawg news):

In a statement titled "Reassertion of Censorship Guidelines" and dated March 7, SARFT said that, on Monday, it informed all major film and broadcast entities and governing bodies that it was renewing prohibitions on "lewd and pornographic content" and content that "show promiscuous acts, rape, prostitution, sexual intercourse, sexual perversity, masturbation and male/female sexual organs and other private parts." However, the public notice, posted on SARFT's Web site, did not specifically mention "Lust" or Tang.

In addition, all awards shows in China were advised to exclude Tang and the producers of "Lust, Caution" from their list of guests, while discussions about the film and Tang on online forums were deleted, Hong Kong newspaper Oriental Daily reported.

Personally, I think it's interesting that they chose only to ban the woman involved in the "pornographic" scene. However, the AFP report offers this somewhat contradictory report and analysis:

The United Evening News said Chinese print and electronic media "were notified on Friday to immediately remove" any works and commercials featuring the Chinese actress. It was unclear how long the ban would last.

The report cited unnamed sources as saying that Tang came under fire as the film, a tense drama set during Japan's occupation of Shanghai in the 1940s, was deemed as "beautifying" those who collaborated with the Japanese at that time.

"Beautifying Japanese collaborators sparked the controversy over 'Lust, Caution' in China even more than the sex scenes did," the report said.

In the movie, Tang joins the Chinese resistance and is tasked with killing a powerful Japanese collaborator, but she changes her mind at the last minute.


Taiwan-born director Ang Lee was spared blacklisting because he is an artistic advisor to the Beijing Olympics, unnamed industry watchers were quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Regardless of why or how the decision was made, however, Mr. Lehman offers the following opinion:
"China's media is China's business and they should be able to ban whomever they wish. The FCC and BBC does it, why not the Chinese media? I support their decision."


China Entertainment 0 Comment March 10, 2008, 10:33 am

Golden Rooster Crows on Starry Night

October 25, 2007 - by Maggie Xu

The 16th Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival unveiled in Suzhou on Wednesday, October 27, 2007.

The tourists' heaven of Suzhou in eastern China turned into a heaven for star-chasers Wednesday night, as big names from the country's entertainment circle gathered there to raise the curtain for China's top film gala.

The 16th Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival opened with film stars singing and dancing on the stage.

Suzhou-born Hong Kong actress Carina Lau kicked off the night with a show-off of her dancing skills.

Action movie superstar, Jackie Chan, also took to the stage to share his memory of the film festival.

Singing sensations, including Jolin Tsai and Tsai Chin from Taiwan, and Joey Yung from Hong Kong, also contributed to the festival.

In the following days, a slew of domestic and foreign films will be screened in different sessions.

The festival will be wrapped up on Saturday with another star-studded night honoring winners of the Golden Rooster Awards, known as China's Oscars.

China Entertainment 0 Comment October 25, 2007, 2:19 pm