How to answer the question of copyright protection in short videos

  【Dharma Eye View】

  "What am I doing with my mobile phone?" Xiao Li, who was sitting at his desk, suddenly realized this while swiping through short videos.

  "I used to pick up my mobile phone to subconsciously open WeChat to see if there was any new information. Now I pick up my mobile phone and swipe a few short videos to forget what I wanted to do." There are more and more young people like Xiao Li now.

  Short videos are short and concise, with diverse content, low threshold for creation, fast dissemination, fit into fragmented reading habits, and quickly enter the life of the public. Brushing short videos has become the "last thing before bed" and "the first thing to wake up" for many young people. thing".

  According to statistics, the number of short video users in my country has exceeded 900 million.

The considerable number of users and the rapid development trend make short videos quickly in the air.

In the context of the digital economy, short videos not only provide high-quality cultural and creative content and meet the spiritual needs of the public, but also quickly integrate with e-commerce, advertising and marketing, paid knowledge, etc.

However, the rapid development of the short video industry has also caused new contradictions and conflicts.

Among them, the infringement disputes caused by content creation should not be underestimated.

  1 "Love and kill each other" of long and short videos

  The TV is turned on, but it becomes the background sound; no one cares about the popular TV series on the TV, but the short videos inside and outside the drama on the mobile phone are very enjoyable...In daily life, such scenes have been used in many families. Get used to it.

  For the copyright owners of some movies and TV series, it can be described as "love and hate" for the vigorous development of the short video industry.

  On the one hand, some short videos have invisibly expanded the promotion and distribution of film and television dramas. When many viewers are watching short videos, "because of one look, one shot, and one line, they went to watch the whole drama."

In recent years, many popular film and television works are also popular materials for the secondary creation of short videos, and classic works such as "Wrangler" and "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" have become popular again through the secondary creation of a large number of up masters.

On the other hand, some acts of slicing and broadcasting film and television works in the name of introducing and commenting on the plot not only infringes the copyright of the right holder, but also makes many viewers lose their enthusiasm for watching the full plot and paying for the video platform. This has resulted in the loss of copyrights and video platforms.

From September 9, 2018 to February 28, 2022, Beijing Internet Court accepted a total of 2,812 cases involving short video copyright disputes.

The number of cases involving short video copyright has increased year by year, with a significant increase. From 2019 to 2021, the number of cases received is 540, 729, and 1,284 respectively.

  The short video industry has violated the traditional film and television industry, not only in lawsuits.

On April 9, 2021, iQiyi, Tencent Video, Youku, Mango TV, Migu Video, 5 platforms, as well as 15 film and television industry associations and 53 film and television companies jointly issued a "Joint Statement", calling for "short video platforms and Producers and operators of public accounts respect originality and protect copyright, and are not allowed to edit, cut, transport, disseminate and other infringing acts of related film and television works without authorization." On April 23, 2021, 17 film and television industry associations and 54 film and television companies , 5 video platforms, and 514 industry professionals, and jointly issued an initiative, targeting the content of unauthorized film and television works such as cutting, moving, quick viewing and compilation.

On December 15, 2021, the China Online Audio-Visual Program Service Association released the "Detailed Rules for the Review of Online Short Video Content (2021)".

Item 21 of the new version of the "Detailed Rules" includes "other content that violates relevant state regulations and social moral standards" and includes "unauthorized cutting or adaptation of movies, TV dramas, online film and television dramas and other audio-visual programs and fragments". in.

  After the introduction of the new regulations, it has also been suggested that the secondary creation of short videos also involves the way many people make a living.

There are also many voices, "Can we not use copyright as a 'moat' between platforms, and whether it is possible to provide space for short video creators".

  2 The phenomenon of sub-health cannot be ignored

  The short video infringement cases that have entered the litigation process are just the tip of the iceberg in this carnival ocean of data.

  From January 2019 to May 2021, 12426 Copyright Monitoring Center monitored 13 million original short videos and secondary creation short videos of film and television variety shows and other works. A total of 3 million infringing accounts were monitored, and 14.786 million were successfully notified to delete. Second-generation infringement and 4.1631 million original infringing short videos.

The producer uses artworks, photographic works, musical works, audio-visual works and other works protected by copyright law, involving film and television variety shows, animation animation, sports and games, etc., through re-editing, adding dubbing or commentary, etc. The creation of short videos has become the hardest hit area in the field of copyright infringement.

  "From a micro level, the creation of short videos is mostly based on existing works, and the lack of awareness of the rights protection of short video creators has led to frequent infringements." Zhang Qian, a judge of the Beijing Internet Court, introduced that the threshold for short video creation is low, and the general public can Can be a short video maker.

Some short video producers do not have a strong awareness of copyright protection. When making short videos using other people's existing works, they often do not obtain permission from the copyright owner in advance, resulting in frequent infringements such as cutting and moving.

  Judging from the 2,812 cases of copyright disputes involving short videos collected by the Beijing Internet Court, the subjects involved are mainly long and short video platforms, and 59.4% of the cases are long and short video platforms where one or both of the suing subject and the accused subject are long and short video platforms.

From the perspective of the subject of the lawsuit, there are 2,130 lawsuits filed by the successor rights subject who obtained the rights through the license agreement, including the long video platform that obtained authorization from the producer, the short video platform that obtained the copyright of the short video through the platform user agreement, and the lyrics and music. The number of music record companies authorized by the author is obviously more than that of the original rights holder.

  There are more original rights holders who have chosen platforms to defend their rights.

The 12426 Copyright Monitoring Center has conducted a survey on the status quo of 523 short video authors’ rights protection. According to statistics, 82.5% of the authors defend their rights by reporting to the platform, but the video platform has been subject to many rights protection creators due to the large amount of information provided and the long response period. criticized.

  Wan Yong, a professor at the Law School of Renmin University of China, said that the dilemma of copyright protection of original short videos mainly lies in: first, it is difficult to detect piracy, because the short videos on the short video platform are massive, the creators are scattered and hidden, and it is difficult for the authors of original short videos If you find that your original short video has been infringed by others; second, it is difficult to obtain evidence. Even if the infringing short video is found, the relevant user can easily delete it, thus losing the evidence; third, it is difficult to determine the infringement, even if the evidence is found, Going to the court to sue, in practice, many users do not simply copy and disseminate the video, but re-interpret it according to the plot of the original short video; whether this is an infringement of ideas or expression, there is a certain controversy.

  Some experts believe that some unrecognized works have expanded their influence and dissemination power because of the second creation. The infringer even believes that this is a free promotion, which psychologically shakes the determination of the rights holders to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests.

  3 Blocking or sparse, calling the platform to do more

  While the industry is resisting handling and cutting "barriers high", a new ecology is taking shape.

  During the hit of the film and television drama "The World", many short videos released by the official Douyin account of "The World" easily exceeded one million likes.

At present, opening accounts and soliciting submissions on major short video platforms have become standard for newly released movies and TV programs.

  In practice, some courts require short video platforms to take effective measures to filter and block possible infringements on the basis of deleting existing infringing content on the platform in case-by-case trials, essentially making short video platforms burdened with proactive discovery liability for infringement.

"Compared with the traditional safe harbor rule, this model can obtain better intellectual property protection effect, but its legal basis and legal basis still need to be further discussed and improved." Zhang Qian said.

  More people in the industry, experts and scholars are reaching a consensus that "the resolution of short video copyright disputes should focus on prevention", and the short video platform still has more room for action.

"In addition to using technological advantages to continue to strengthen supervision and governance, the short video platform should become the link between the owner of the work and the user, effectively integrate music, pictures, videos and other resources, and build a copyright authorization distribution system that first authorizes, then uses, and then pays. , effectively reducing the occurrence of infringement." Zhang Qian said.

  In March this year, a short video platform announced that it had reached a cooperation with a web drama producer and distributor, and obtained the relevant authorization for the secondary creation of all self-made film and television works produced by the distributor, including "Forensic Qin Ming" and "The Year in a Hurry".

The short video platform and users can re-edit, arrange or adapt these film and television works.

  More importantly, it is necessary to change the governance concept and turn blockage into sparseness.

Wan Yong said that simply blocking is unsustainable, and more importantly, sparse, that is, innovative business models, so that creators, users and platforms can achieve a win-win situation, so as to promote the healthy and orderly development of the short video industry.

  Case link

  Making short videos by borrowing images of anime toys does not constitute fair use

  The plaintiff Company A has exclusive copyrights such as the information network dissemination rights for the "Ultraman" series of film and television works and their characters in mainland China. The image of Little Bear Ryan is the main character. By setting certain scenes, writing scripts, inserting narrations, interpreting small stories of different scenarios, and shooting small videos to upload to the Internet.

For public viewing or download.

The plaintiff believed that the defendant's actions infringed upon its rights of reproduction, information network dissemination, and filming of the "Ultraman" series of film and television works and their characters, and therefore requested the court to order the defendant to stop the infringement and compensate for the economic losses.

  The court ordered the defendant to immediately stop the infringement and compensate the plaintiff for economic losses of 320,000 yuan and notary fees of 2,500 yuan.

  This case clarifies the adjudication rule that making a short video with its own animation toy image as the main element does not constitute fair use without the permission of the copyright owner.

The "Ultraman" image toy used by the defendant was purchased by him, but the ownership of the animation toy does not mean that he enjoys the copyright of its image. Copyright is a civil right based on an intangible object, and its object is an intellectual achievement, which is an intangible property. .

The defendant made short videos with the plaintiff's copyrighted cartoon image toys as the main element and spread it through the WeChat public account it operated to attract user traffic, so as to achieve the purpose of enhancing its own brand image, which failed to meet the statutory requirements for fair use and did not constitute fair use.

  For long video slice infringement, the amount of compensation shall be determined according to the long video infringement

  A registered user of a video app, "The Post-80s Dujujun", disseminated 122 clips of "Grandma Loves Me Again". Although most of these clips are short videos within 10 minutes, they already contain the main plot and content of the film and television drama involved.

The owner of the exclusive right to use the play's information network dissemination right brought it to court, claiming that the defendant's behavior violated his right to information network dissemination, and requested that the defendant be ordered to stop the infringement, and compensated for economic losses of 90,000 yuan and reasonable expenses of 10,000 yuan Yuan.

The court ordered the defendant to stop the infringement and compensate the reasonable expenses for economic losses totaling 37,000 yuan.

  Without permission, editing long videos into short videos for use or dissemination without permission is a typical infringement.

This case clarifies that if someone else's film or TV series is edited into multiple short videos for use and covers the main content, the amount of compensation can be determined according to the standards for infringing the film or TV series.

Through the trial of this case, it will help to stop the common "cutting" behavior in the production and dissemination of short videos.

  (Our reporter Liu Huadong, our correspondent Chen Qianru)