Blockchain Technology Can be Introduced to Standardize Market
“Mushroom Photographer Huang Yaohua”, an engineer of wildlife conservation identified by Sina Weibo, posted that Visual China Group (VCG) infringed on his image copyright and made profits by eliminating his watermarks on images. This post triggered another dispute for VCG. On the following day, Huang posted that he mistakenly believed VCG infringed on his copyright because he didn’t know VCG today was CFP several years ago, a company to whom he authorized copyright of 16 images in 2014.
Experts believe that doubt on watermarks of stock-image providers like VCG shows that the awareness of copyright protection of rights owners is enhancing, which is of significant importance to the sound and orderly development of the copyright market. However, public awareness of copyright protection still needs to be strengthened.
Copyright format is being standardized, and information examination requires improvement.
According to the founder of VCG, it has made the following efforts to improve its content examination process: first, increase the number of equipment and technology required for content examination, optimize manual examination process and improve reading and editing system; second, cooperate with third parties such as Alibaba Cloud and People.cn to optimize content examination system; third, add report function so that users can report any improper content relating to politics, terrorism and violence, as well as pornographic materials to the platform.
Zhao Zhanling, deputy director of Beijing Zhilin Law Firm, says that although it has improved its content examination mechanism, VCG mainly focuses on whether images are proper; there is still no effective measures in identifying rights owners, enhancing transparency of rights protection information and ensuring legitimacy of right protection methods.
Technologies may help solve difficulties in identifying rights owners.
Du Xiujun, an IP lawyer of Beijing Xuanyan Law Firm, says “there are four issues in litigations of image copyright infringement: first, whether an image can be categorized as a work of art; second, whom the image belongs to; third, whether there is infringement; fourth, what is the damage to the rights owner. Due to the complexity of these issues, the first two in particular, courts at all levels have not developed uniform standards yet, causing chaos in image copyright protection.” Therefore, judgments of the same litigation may vary in different courts.
Zhao Zhanling suggests that going forward, new technologies like blockchain can be introduced to locate rights owners.
July 3, 2019
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