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Rumor: QVOD to Switch to Licensed Content Model

Sina Tech, 4/11/14

According to an insider at online media player developer and operator QVOD, the company is considering implementing more effective technology filters to block all pirated content on the company's QVOD Player video client, transitioning QVOD Payer to a licensed video content model. QVOD may invest over RMB 100 mln to license online video content, and over RMB 30 mln to support user generated micro movie production.

According to a staff member at QVOD, the company is facing heavy pressure after having several copyright infringement lawsuits filed against it last year from internet companies including Youku Tudou (NYSE: YOKU), Sohu (Nasdaq: SOHU), Tencent (0700.HK), and LeTV (Leshi) (300104.SZ). Stemming from the lawsuits, QVOD has blocked a portion of suspected pirated material on the site, resulting in significant drops in user numbers.

Upon installing QVOD Payer, users can search and play movie titles from small and unlicensed online video sites, making it difficult for copyright holders to find specific websites to pursue claims. Due to the difficult nature in tracking down the legal representatives of these smaller sites, a disproportionately large number of complaints from content license holders has been filed against QVOD for "abetting a crime."

As part of its transition plan, QVOD plans to release an online video site, investing several million RMB to purchase a movie and video content-related domain name. The company will also take measures to block all pirated content on its QVOD Player and online video site, leaving only authorized partner content. QVOD is currently in talks with websites including Youku and Sohu, and is busy building its own licensed content library.

Editor's Note: For more information on this topic, please see "SAPPRFT Fines Baidu, QVOD for Pirated Video Content," MD 12/30/13 and "Baidu, QVOD Sued for Piracy," MD 11/13/13 issues.

Keywords: Internet media player online video QVOD IPR infringement law litigation business model

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