Copyright

by Glyn Moody


Filed Under:
censorship, china, copyright

Companies:
mpaa



Hollywood Helps China Set Up National Surveillance And Censorship System To Tackle Copyright Infringement

from the how-long-before-the-MPAA-asks-for-the-same-in-the-US? dept

The Copyright Society of China has just launched a new site, called the 12426 Copyright Monitoring Center, whose job is to scan the entire Chinese Internet for evidence of copyright infringement. As a post on the EFF site explains, its scope is incredibly wide:

This frightening panopticon is said to be able to monitor video, music and images found on "mainstream audio and video sites and graphic portals, small and medium vertical websites, community platforms, cloud and P2P sites, SmartTV, external set-top boxes, aggregation apps, and so on."

Quite how it manages to monitor SmartTVs and external set-top boxes in people's homes is not clear, but the fact that it even claims to be searching them is pretty worrying, since it may be true.

When it finds content that matches material submitted to it by a copyright holder, the Center provides them with a streamlined notification and takedown machine, from the issuance of warning notices through to the provision of mediation services.

Complementary to that "streamlined" search and takedown system, the Center's technology provider offers a preemptive platform filtering solution:

The Content Filtering System automatically matches, retrieves, de-emphasizes, and automatically alerts or filters content related to copyrighted content or content in violation, by means of content matching technology; thereby it reduces the labor costs and the potential risk of content infringement. It can be applied to cloud disks and all kind of platforms including music, video, pictures, literature and other media contents.

Of course, such automatic filtering systems can't encompass all the subtleties of copyright law, and inevitably take a very crude approach that generally amounts to "when in doubt, block". Once in place, they can also easily be extended, for example to "content in violation", as here. The Chinese system comes from the company First Brave, which claims to be the "world's leading copyright monitoring and distribution service provider". That's probably just the usual hyperbole at the moment, but it's not impossible that it could become true as a result of moves in the EU.

There the main copyright legislation is being updated, supposedly to make it fit for the digital world. And yet, alongside the ridiculous snippet tax, which would create a new ancillary copyright for newspaper publishers (as if they needed any more monopolies), there is an even more dangerous proposal to require major online platforms to filter all user uploads before posting them. That's very similar to the Chinese content filtering system -- good news for First Brave -- and would be just as toxic to freedom of expression and privacy.

The Chinese upload filtering system on its own would be bad enough, but coupled with a similar requirement in the EU, it would pose a real threat in the US too. The copyright industry would doubtless claim that since it is being done everywhere else, there is no reason why Internet platforms should not roll out the same system in the US.

The head of the MPAA, Chris Dodd, used exactly this argument back in 2011 to call for online censorship in the name of reducing copyright infringement. It's noteworthy that two of the six major Hollywood studios that make up the MPAA, 21st Century Fox and Warner Bros., are listed at the bottom of the 12426 Copyright Monitoring Center's home page as partners in the new venture. Once the service has been up and running for a while, we can expect breathless reports from the MPAA on how well the surveillance and censorship system is working in China, along with yet more demands that something similar be set up in the US.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    Anon E. Mous (profile), 15 May 2017 @ 7:09am

    Reason Hollywood is "helping" China monitor set top boxes & smart tv's for copyright infringement is nothing more than Hollywood fill another one of their wet dreams which is aimed straight at restricting what you can view on those smart tv's and your set top boxes.

    Think about how Hollywood has waged war on torrent files and streaming sites, URL blocking and it's latest was on Kodi and other boxes.

    Hollywood is using China as a proof of concept to block users from seeing content that Hollywood doesn't want you to have access to (without kicking them some money first) or by the way of a license to enable you or the box provider to view or allow it to be distributed via a program or add on to the box, this concept would also be applied to smart tv's no doubt.

    Hollywood would never get away with doing a trial like this to block or censor set top boxes or smart tv's in the U.S. or UK, but China one could see allowing Hollywood do it with a large contribution of cash from Hollywood to get the goverment to okay it.

    China also benefits because they to can use this to have another way to filter what their citizens see and where they are getting it from and then blocking access to views that it doesn't like from reaching the public.

    You can bet if this proves effective that Hollywood will push this revelation of battling copyright infringement to other countries by saying the stats prove this is most effective and will save thousands of jobs and the infusion of cash that Hollywood needs to survive from all that piracy that threatens to push Hollywood to the brink of collapse... or so they say.

    This is another of Hollywood's wet dreams to control where you get their content, how you get their content and what you pay to get their content and when you will get to see it.

    I would say this is like something out of a bad spy movie, China and Hollywood in bed together plotting evil against it's enemies, but no.... it's real

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 15 May 2017 @ 7:36am

      Re:

      "Hollywood would never get away with doing a trial like this to block or censor set top boxes or smart tv's in the U.S. or UK"

      Wouldn't them? One would think they would never get away with having the Govt seize domain names and get people jailed based on ip addresses. Or sue printers for infringement.

      As you said, it's just proof of concept while they wait the other governments to set up the legal framework so they can screw us all. It's kind of mixed but eventually it will get there, the governments stopped pretending they care about their citizenry.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 15 May 2017 @ 7:29am

    " 12426 Copyright Monitoring Center "

    Because the other 12425 attempts worked wonders, right guys?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2017 @ 7:54am

    Your "free speech" and access to information may well be reduced due to YOUR piracy. Rights are in conflict, and you pirates are on the wrong side.

    You kids premise everything as that "free speech" must over-ride any and all attempts to control copyrighted content. Nope. The "exclusive" right to control copies is in body of Constitution. Courts / politicians / general public are going to decide in favor of those who make content. Nearly all court cases prove this.

    And of course, you're still just trying to find a legal loophole so that you can sit on your fat ass and consume mindless content for free. It's a major flaw in your position, because everyone knows that's your ultimate goal.

    "Technology" is to point where it's possible to monitor streams. The re-writer here doesn't seem to grasp that's possible with TVs and set-top boxes that are either digital or internet connected. So as practical fact, the end of rampant piracy is in sight. Still be some, but it must be suppressed for good cause. -- You pirates are so wicked, useless, and lazy that even China is against you!

    You don't have money, courts, Constitution, or public opinion of you on your side. So of course you're losing...

    As shown by reading the first link in the last para and noting how few brazen pirates are here now. Left me appalled, except for one AC, non-stop demands for free content. That's not going to happen because CONTENT COSTS MONEY TO MAKE. After nearly 20 years, there's still no hint here of another viable system for major motion pictures. They're hugely expensive up front, a risk which is intolerable with widespread piracy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Rosie-Redstar (profile), 15 May 2017 @ 2:47pm

      Re: Your "free speech" and access to information may well be reduced due to YOUR piracy. Rights are in conflict, and you pirates are on the wrong side.

      Given you logic, you are assuming these filters don't sweep up content that isn't infringing... Guess what, they sure will!

      So what happens to reporters, Let's players, reviewers, anyone that uses parody and satire? They get caught up in the mess too.

      Come up with a better excuse for your straw-man argument, because there is an actual concern here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2017 @ 3:14pm

      Re: Your "free speech" and access to information may well be reduced due to YOUR piracy. Rights are in conflict, and you pirates are on the wrong side.

      Man I hope you're wearing a haz-mat suit. Cause that's some weapons grade derp you're slinging there.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 15 May 2017 @ 5:20pm

      Re: Your "free speech" and access to information may well be reduced due to YOUR piracy. Rights are in conflict, and you pirates are on the wrong side.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2017 @ 8:03am

    not surprising really. China has never given a fuck about it's citizens and Hollywood doesn't give a fuck about anyone/anything other than itself. should be a match made in media heaven, for them, at least!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Seegras (profile), 15 May 2017 @ 8:27am

    Hollywood financing Chinas fascist regime

    Hollywood thinks China is going their way, when in fact, China uses Hollywood to set up a better censorship and surveillance infrastructure.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2017 @ 8:47am

      Re: Hollywood financing Chinas fascist regime

      The old school publishers, MPA and RIAA would be quite happy to set up a censorship system in every country, after all that was not only the reason for copyright as a permission to print, but also allow them to totally control the markets, and get rid of all those competing self publishers.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    McGyver (profile), 15 May 2017 @ 8:41am

    Just one more reason to hate Holloywood... $$$$ above all else.
    To get their pound of flesh, they'll open another new door for people's rights and privacy to be taken away... And if it leads to a few crummy dissidents going to jail or being killed... Well, that's a small price to pay for their comfort and splendor.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mononymous Tim (profile), 15 May 2017 @ 9:54am

    Awe, poor, poor Hollywood! And what is it with China and their number domain names? :-/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Champion, 15 May 2017 @ 12:45pm

    people form hollywood are traitors

    just remember that next election when the democrats try and push hilary again as a candadate...

    they are all traitors to democracy and all you have to do is ask

    when has govt given me a civil right rather then take them away

    no really
    start saying this everywhere and its your wake up call

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2017 @ 3:41pm

      Re: people form hollywood are traitors

      Wow and I thought the other guy was full of derp. I stand corrected v

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      tin-foil-hat, 15 May 2017 @ 9:26pm

      Re: people form hollywood are traitors

      I would give 100 thumbs up if I could. I wish people would take their wedge issue for 30 seconds and think about the quality of the representation they're getting. Very close to police state and already at oligarchy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 16 May 2017 @ 5:43am

        Re: Re: people form hollywood are traitors

        That's the point of partisanship. In any case the police state cheerleaders don't mind it too much as long as it works in their favour. Watch them change their minds when the boot is on the other foot.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2017 @ 1:02pm

    copyrighted content or *content in violation*

    Oh gee, I wonder that other "content in violation" could be.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2017 @ 1:08pm

    Abolish Copyright

    Period.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 15 May 2017 @ 2:25pm

    Any of these projects, not to mention all the court and legislative time spent on these issues, and the costs to rightsholder's front groups seeking to "stop piracy", must far exceed in dollar amounts the total of any infringement ever (including money made by actual pirating for profit operations). Completely ignoring, of course, that infringement largely costs nothing to the infringed to begin with, not even theoretical potential sales.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2017 @ 5:50pm

    Even after he gets fired the grasp of Dodd still poisons the land. Looks like he's getting his wet dream of a China-style censor for the US, too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    tin-foil-hat, 15 May 2017 @ 6:42pm

    Why Not?

    Why not partner with our enemies? Everybody's doing it. Espionage is the new black.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 May 2017 @ 7:44am

    "Hollywood censoring the Internet" equals to "water is wet".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 May 2017 @ 7:32pm

    --------- Oh, but private censorship is okay! -- FOR THE RECORD:

    1st attempt on this alleged "comments open to all free speech" site, "Held for Moderation" at 7:55 Pacific time, didn't appear for about 3 hours.

    2nd attempt as sometimes works not through then either.

    Techdirt is breaking its "forms contract" that's stated by existence of public comments box without any guidelines or reservation. And yet you have the chutzpah to kvetch about China censoring.

    Tried a 3rd time at 8:45 Pacific...

    Only appeared sometime before NOON Pacific, when this topic essentially dead. Techdirt cheating behind the scenes yet again. You wouldn't know this unless I report, when can.

    That's lying by omission, pretending it's a fair forum when only dissent is "moderated", pirates not at all. And proving that the multiple postings that are sometimes let through is the intention of Techdirt, presumably in order to discredit me.

    And again, there's never any response from Techdirt to the charges I make, which any normal persons would do. They can't deny without possible worse tangles, so just ignore. But over time (YEARS NOW), unanswered charges are evidence.

    ----------
    BTW: last week Techdirt implied that Facebook should live video of murders, but won't even put up my little bits of text! SHEESH!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 May 2017 @ 6:03am

      Re:

      What a surprise, the partnership of Hollywood (a corporation!) and China doesn't bother you.

      out_of_the_blue hates it when due process is enforced.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.