Back in November 2010, the government said it would ban any form of trading and supplying of unauthorized foreign TV shows. We heard that, said “Yeah, okay” and then went back to watching the new season of Mad Men on Tudou.com because well, if it was gonna be anything like the smoking ban, then we’d have nothing to worry about, right?
Wrong. Whereas you used to be able to hop online and waste your day away by watching 5 episodes straight of Modern Family/Gossip Girl/any American TV show or film you fancied, most of those videos have disappeared now.
Youku.com, Tudou.com and Ku6.com among others all sat up and took notice of the government’s warning this time around and deleted tens of thousands of videos playing unauthorized foreign TV programs. One Youku user “Xueselaoxie” said that more than 7,000 videos of American TV shows he’d uploaded were deleted in one day. Those sites are showing some real dedication to the combating intellectual property theft too because they’ve done a pretty consistent job of keeping users from simply re-uploading everything.
If you go on Tudou now and click to view TV shows, the filter will allow you to thieve the intellectual rights of shows from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, and even Britain, but not America, at least not anymore. So we’re kind of disappointed we can’t count on a unabashed flouting of intellectual property law in China to get our regular dose of 1960s American drama but will grudgingly acknowledge that it was the right thing to do.