(Yicai Global) Oct. 26 -- China's National Copyright Administration (NCA) has instructed that online music works must be fully authorized, but shy from exclusive authorization.
The NCA issued the above diktat in talks with foreign music companies and several major domestic online music service providers.
It expressed its hope that these music companies strictly comply with copyright laws and regulations and international treaties, and exercise and safeguard rights and interests per law to combat all manner of musical infringement, People's Daily reported.
The NCA has carried out special actions to control online music piracy, thus greatly improving the internet music copyright order, while paying to hear authorized music is gradually becoming the norm. New problems are popping up, however, over struggles for exclusive copyrights.
The need for authentic online music has become a matter of consensus within the industry, but many network music service providers must now purchase the exclusive rights record companies hold, and some of the latter even drive up copyright royalties. This is ill-conducive to the dissemination of music and the healthy development of the industry and may also cause resurgent piracy, said Duan Yuping, deputy director of the Copyright Administration Division of the NCA. Foreign record companies rarely give their entire repertoire to one single music platform for exclusive use. Even when an album has exclusive authorization for a certain period, it is generally shorter abroad. The exclusive authorization of an entire collection as in China is thus an anomaly.
The NCA instructed Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HKG:0700], NetEase Inc. [NASDAQ:BIDU], Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. [NYSE:BABA] and Baidu Inc. [NASDAQ:BIDU] and other online music service providers to properly handle copyright disputes between them. They must attempt to resolve these via negotiation, mediation and other means. They should protect their rights per law, but may not drive up prices and must refrain from acts in any form of vicious bidding and exclusive purchases of copyrights, and shun control of music copyright collections.