Magazine article Screen International

Beijing Court Sentences VoD Execs to Four Years in Prison

Magazine article Screen International

Beijing Court Sentences VoD Execs to Four Years in Prison

Article excerpt

A Beijing court has handed out China's stiffest ever penalties for online streaming of copyright infringing content to six executives of video-on-demand (VoD) website OpenV.com.

On July 30, the Beijing Chaoyang District People's Court sentenced OpenV chairman Chen Haitao, vice president Yang Ming and four other executives with up to four years' imprisonment with two years' probation. The company, which was raided by law enforcement authorities on September 20, 2010, was also fined $314,000 (RMB2m).

First established as a video search engine in 2006, OpenV gradually transformed into a VoD website attracting daily average traffic of more than 55 million page views, 40 million video views and 8 million unique visitors. Its ad revenue from domestic and multinational brands exceeded $3m.

A large proportion of the traffic involved copyright infringing content, including hundreds of titles from Motion Picture Association (MPA) member companies, leading to complaints by several right holder organisations. …

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