(Yicai Global) Dec. 26 -- Beijing's new dedicated internet court ruled on a copyright dispute between short video streaming platforms TikTok operated by Beijing Bytedance Technology and Baidu-backed Huopai today, rejecting TikTok's claim for CNY1 million (USD145,200).
Though it did not find infringement of TikTok's copyrights, this case nonetheless marked the first time that China has recognized short videos as lying within the protection scope of its copyright law.
TikTok contended that Beijing-based tech titan Baidu arbitrarily spread its exclusive original short videos on its Huopai platform and allowed their downloading without permission, and this caused great economic loss to TikTok, which demanded Baidu cease the infringement and compensate it, China Securities Journal reported on its website.
Dismissing TikTok's claim, the Beijing Internet Court held that the short videos involved were indeed protected by China's copyright law, but as Baidu had deleted them in a timely manner as a network service provider, its acts did not constitute infringement.
This copyright dispute case was also the first the Beijing Internet Court has heard since its establishment in September. It noted that legal protection of short videos is still at an initial stage both at home and abroad, and questions such as whether they are works and the boundaries of rights between short video platforms and users is thus an issue worth exploring.
TikTok is a short music video community targeting youngsters, which was founded in 2016 and developed by Beijing Micro Broadcast Vision Technology under Beijing Bytedance Technology. It had over 150 million daily active users as of June, public data show.
Editor: Ben Armour