Frontiers of Law in China

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 275–301 | Cite as

Study on copyright infringement of video-sharing websites

Research Article


If any video-sharing websites, without authorization, directly upload film and television works to a server to be shared by subscribers, and do editing and verification in advance on the infringing videos uploaded by subscribers, it is regarded as “direct infringement.” However, the overwhelming majority of video-sharing websites provide information platforms for subscribers to automatically upload videos, and in such case, how to determine the tort liability of those websites remains ambiguous. The Regulations on Protection of the Right of Communication through Information Network of China impose harsh liabilities on video-sharing websites by incomplete reference to the US “vicarious liability,” consequently hampering the development of normal business. It shall be reasonably identified whether the operator of a website “should have known” there exist infringing videos uploaded by subscribers according to the “Red Flag Test,” in reference to the columns set by the video-sharing website. In condition that a mature and effective filtering technology has been accepted by the market, it shall be taken as the subjective fault for a video-sharing website to refuse shielding the uploading of infringing videos with such technology.


video-sharing website indirect infringement contributory infringement vicarious liability 


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Intellectual PropertyEast China University of Political Science and LawShanghaiChina

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