Feb 10, 2022 04:27 PM

Douyin Denies It Allows Users to Violate Patriotic Blockbuster’s Copyright

What’s new: China’s TikTok twin Douyin denied reports it allowed a 30-minute user-generated video violating the copyright of a patriotic blockbuster to be shared on its platform, as regulators tighten oversight of intellectual property infringements on short-video platforms.

In a post published Wednesday on Twitter-like social microblogging platform Weibo, Douyin said that the reports contained “false information” disseminated by an unnamed video streaming platform that holds the online distribution rights for “The Battle at Lake Changjin.”

The film, which chronicles a critical battle in the Korean War, first hit cinemas in September 2021, and later began being streamed on China’s three biggest video streaming sites —iQiyi, Tencent Video and Youku Tudou — in January this year.

Douyin said that their internal investigation showed that the video in question is actually a 6-minute promotional video consisting of movie trailers and public-domain historical materials, which was created under a cooperation deal it signed with the co-producer of the film, Bona Film Group Co. Ltd.

State broadcaster CCTV was among the media outlets reporting that infringement on the film’s copyright had taken place, but didn’t mention any platform. A legal representative of streaming site Youku said in a phone interview with CCTV that short-video app users upload videos containing clips adapted from copyrighted films to gain fans, from whom they can make money via e-commerce livestreaming.

The background: Wednesday’s post came two months after the government-affiliated China Netcasting Services Association announced new rules saying short-video creators cannot create clips including content from movies and TV shows without prior authorization.

In August, Douyin took down more than 8,000 user-generated videos judged to violate the copyright of a popular TV crime drama exclusively streamed on Tencent Video.

Contact reporter Ding Yi ( and editor Joshua Dummer (

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