Tripartite Perspective on the Copyright-Sharing Economy in China
Computer Law & Security Review, Volume 35, Issue 4, 2019
39 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2019 Last revised: 21 Nov 2019
Date Written: September 13, 2019
Internet and digital technologies have facilitated copyright sharing in an unprecedented way, creating significant tensions between the free flow of information and the exclusive nature of intellectual property. Copyright owners, users, and online platforms are the three major players in the copyright system. These stakeholders and their relations form the main structure of the copyright-sharing economy. Using China as an example, this paper provides a tripartite perspective on the copyright ecology based on three categories of sharing, namely unauthorized sharing, altruistic sharing, and freemium sharing. The line between copyright owners, users, and platforms has been blurred by rapidly changing technologies and market forces. By examining the strategies and practices of these parties, this paper illustrates the opportunities and challenges for China’s copyright industry and digital economy. The paper concludes that under the shadow of the law, a sustainable copyright-sharing model must carefully align the interests of businesses and individual users.
Keywords: copyright, sharing economy, Creative Commons, free software, open-source software, freemium, fair use, user-generated content, notice and takedown, open data
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