China video sites piracy spat

China’s two largest video-streaming sites, Tudou and Youku are heading for court after Tudou announced that it is taking action – together with its license partner Cti TV – over alleged piracy of a popular TV series on Youku.

The Tudou claim relates to a chat show hosted by model and actress Dee Hsu to which it has exclusive licensed streaming rights. Tudou has bought a number of other Taiwanese shows, which are especially popular amongst young women, for streaming. The joint press releases says:

“Cti TV alleged that Youku.com has illicitly pirated all of the ‘Kangxi is Coming’ programs that was officially broadcast by Cti TV starting on December 1st, and that the pirated videos were not uploaded by Internet users but officially uploaded and recommended by Youku.com itself.”

The statement goes on to explain that Youku did start to remove some of the offending videos, but then on December 8th they reappeared, and now remain on the site generating revenue for Youku.

Tudou and Cti TV say they’re seeking negotiations and compensation or – failing that – full legal action.

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