Friday, April 11, 2008

China Adopts New Rules on Streaming Media

While US webcasters may think that they have legal issues - whether it be the Internet radio music royalties that have been such a concern or the copyright and other liability issues that surround user-generated content on various websites, they face nothing like new rules that were recently adopted for webcasters in China. The new rules require government permits from two separate Chinese government agencies before webcasting operations can begin. In addition, the rules appear to require ownership and control of webcasting operations by state-owned companies. These rules apply to streaming audio and video delivered to mobile and wireless devices. The rules also require yet another permit for sites that contain news content, and require taping of programs (a proposal made by our own FCC in connection with broadcast programs to monitor for indecency) to monitor for program content that may offend government requirements. Clearly, it's a different system than that in place in the US - one which website operators interested in an operation in China should study carefully.

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