BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhua) -- With a huge influx of participants, China's
booming blogs are becoming a highly profitable way of online commerce, raising
the issue of blog copyright.
At a forum of international copyright cooperation held recentlyin Changsha,
capital of central-south China's Hunan province, fourfamous bloggers Wang
Xiaofeng, Jiang Hong, Zhang Lixian and Wang Xiaoshan called for regulations for
blog copyright protection.
Wang Xiaofeng, a reporter whose popular blog is known as "Massage Milk",
said a number of websites and newspapers have usedhis postings without asking
for his permission.
"It's not that hard to contact the blogger first," Wang said. "You can
leave a message on the blog or send an e-mail," he added,saying excuses that
there is no way to find the author are not justified.
Wang Xiaoshan, a popular blogger who also works for Chinese portal sohu.com
said that the copyright issue concerns four parties, the bloggers, the blogging
service providers (BSP), websites and traditional media. Most of the copyright
disputes have been arisen between bloggers and traditional media, Wang said.
The most common forms of blog copyright violations are posting articles
from blogs without attribution to the author or printing them in newspapers or
magazines without paying any remuneration.
Last November, an associate professor at Nanjing University, found himself
under attack in a blog on blogcn.com, the largest blogging service in China. He
asked the website to edit the log but was refused. The professor is in the
process of suing the website.
In March, Qin Tao, a Shanghai-based blogger, sued Sohu, for itsunauthorized
reprint of her postings. Her action was soon echoed by three other bloggers,
claiming copyright infringement. The casewill be tried in Beijing at late May.
In the latest case, Luo Yonghao, an English teacher at a private school in
Beijing sued website pcpop.com for copyright violations and the case has been
settled out of court.
"Blogs in China are growing so fast that the laws cannot keep up with,"
said Ping Ke, a radio DJ turned Deutsche-Welle award winning Chinese podcaster
for his antiwave.net.
China's most popular blog of Xu Jinglei, an actress and a director has been
visited more than 30 million times and her popularity in the blogsphere has
attracted companies to place advertisements on her blog.
BSPs are looking for business models to profit from the huge blogsphere.
Hexun.com has set up an advertising alliance for blogs,promoting their popular
blogs to advertisers and drawing them to post ads on the blogs.
Xu Jinglei, Wang Xiaofeng and real estate tycoon Pan Shiyi already have had
their blogs published as books and many BSPs are trying to provide wireless
value added services to cellphone userswith the contents from popular blogs.
More and more business people have become aware that blogs could eventually
become a highly profitable way of musing rather than simply a lonely stage for
According to a report released by the Internet Society of China,the number
of bloggers is expected to hit 60 million by the end ofthis year. There were an
estimated 100 million blogs worldwide andabout 16 million in China in 2005.
China is the world's second-largest Internet market after the United States
with more than 110 million users.
The Chinese government has so far completed drafting the Protection of the
Right of Communication through Network. The draft, which is aimed at better
protecting copyrights, has won approval from the State Council, China's cabinet.
According to the draft, uploading writings, performances and recorded
sounds and videos to the Internet for downloading, copying or other use, must
acquire permission of the copyright owners and pay a certain amount of fees.
"The new regulation will give guidance to copyright protection over the
Internet," said Shen Rengan, director-general of the Copyright Society of China.