China Lurching Along

China Media Battle Hints at Shift on Intellectual Propertypdf

One of China’s largest newspapers has filed a lawsuit against one of the country’s leading Internet portals claiming that it violated copyright laws, setting off a media war and highlighting the first signs of a possible shift in policies toward intellectual property rights here.

[…] The lawsuit, however, is headed to court at a time of accelerating legal change and signs of increased efforts by law enforcement to protect copyrights and intellectual property. It is also a critical time for China’s newspaper industry, which grew explosively in the last decade or so but now faces an even faster-growing rival: Internet-based news media.

Now, as in the United States and many other countries, with computer use and broadband access booming here, newspapers are losing readers to large, corporate-owned Web sites. What had set China apart from much of the rest of the world until recently was that these Web sites faced no legal obstacles in copying material from newspapers, often wholesale.