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From copycat to copyright: intellectual property amendments and the development of Chinese online video industries

Gilardi, F., White, A., Chen, Z. T. ORCID: 0000-0003-2450-277X , Cheng, S., Song, W. & Zhao, Y. (2023). From copycat to copyright: intellectual property amendments and the development of Chinese online video industries. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 29(2), pp. 152-168. doi: 10.1080/10286632.2022.2040494


Many commentators have in the past hailed the production in China of lower cost versions of famous Chinese and international cultural and media products, better known as a shanzhai (山寨) form of production. Against that, this paper argues that there has been a significant move away from a copycat model in the Chinese creative industries, a trend which should be viewed within the context of China’s obligations as a full member of the WTO. This paper argues that the way in which online video industries have developed and innovated over the last 14 years in China has changed in that online video industries are constantly mutating their business models in response to lawsuits for IP violations instead of simply aligning with existing regulations. By doing that, they are indirectly adapting their business models to local legislation relating to the protection of IP for domestic and international content.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 University of Nottingham Ningbo China. Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Publisher Keywords: Chinese new media industries, Chinese online video platforms, digital business models, Chinese copyright law, lawsuits
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries > Media & Communications
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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