Two of the biggest video websites in China have taken each other to court over accusations that they are misusing each other’s videos.
Youku.com and Tudou have both started out as online video sharing websites like YouTube but have recently started creating their own programming and paying to import successful programmes from overseas which has led to disputes.
Youku filed a suit against Tudou on December 16 saying that the site had stolen 60 programmes from it, whilst Tudou has filed a suit saying that Youku has shown a Taiwanese programme which Tudou had exclusive rights to.
China’s TV industry is highly regulated and in recent months the state has ruled that a number of satellite broadcasters must limit their entertainment programming to just two per week so online video websites are hoping to entice bored TV viewers to their sites.
394 million Chinese people watched online video in 2011 according to CMM Intelligence and this could reach 445 million by the end of this year. With such a huge potential audience and much less regulation than other forms of the media, it is understandable why it is so hugely contested.
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