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Copyright Battle between Sina and Netizens

Sina is a major Internet portal in China. Sina Weibo is a microblog social network, with more than 500 million users and millions of posts per day. Based on active users, it claims 56.5 percent of the Chinese microblogging market.

Recently, Sina tried to claim exclusive copyrights for all contents posted on Sina Weibo. The public fiercely rejected its claim, so eventually Sina conceded the copyrights to the microblog’s author.

Sina’s first announcement stated that, “Sina has the exclusive copyright over the contents that its users publish on Sina Weibo; Sina Weibo users authorize Sina Weibo, for free, to protect copyrights. The proceeds from the protection of these copyrights belongs solely to the Weibo platform; the user actively agrees to support Weibo‘s platform to exercise its rights and to provide related proving documents and support.’”

After the public’s outcry, Sina issued its second version of the announcement and modified the two articles that caused the public debate: “(Sina Weibo) users can legally use the contents over which they have the absolute intellectual properties’ right including the copyright, but retrieving contents published on the Weibo platform without the joint approval of the user and the Weibo platform is an act of unfair competition.”

It still met with the public’s rejection.

Sina then issued its third version: “The copyright of the contents published on Weibo for sure belongs to the author of the contents. Weibo, as a platform, has certain usage rights. The Weibo user can publish his own contents on other platforms at his own will. However, without the Weibo platform’s agreement, (the user’s) self-authorizing, allowing, or assisting a third party to retrieve published content on Weibo is not permitted.”

Source: Jiansu Toutiao, September 17, 2017
http://www.jiangsutoutiao.com/a/170917144740391-4.html

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