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Singing duo breakout hit banned after infringing intellectual property rights

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Jianghuai Morning News, February 17, 2011

Today's Jianghuai Morning News reports on the Lantern Festival today - the last day of the Chinese New Year and fireworks. Inside, a story on the sensation of "migrant laborer" singers, who, since releasing a video of themselves singing to pop star Wang Feng's (汪峰) hit song "In Spring" (春天里) after drinking copious amounts of alcohol and shirtless, has become a national hit. Their stage name is "Xuriyanggang" (旭日阳刚), a combination of their names. The raw performance gave the singing duo an opportunity to appear on the Spring Festival Gala (in a segment showcasing ordinary, "grassroots" performers), and they hit the mainstream.

However, Wang Feng has made a statement saying that he is taking back the rights to the song, although he performed with the duo in Shanghai last year. Faced with a murky property rights culture, reports in the Chinese media have shown about mixed feelings. Following is an article the Jianghui Morning News ran:

Xuriyanggang not migrant laborers?!

Because of singing Wang Feng's (汪峰) "In Spring" (春天里), Xuriyanggang (旭日阳刚) has been involved in the "Singing Ban" incident, which has spread like wildfire. In the afternoon of the 15th, Xuriyanggang spoke for the first time, apologizing to Wang Feng and promising "never to sing his songs again." In response to this, Wang Feng replies calmly that "I don't want anything for helping them," and openly says that they might write songs for them in the future. But in another respect netizens have tried to find out Xuriyanggang's true identities using the human search flesh engine.

As soon as the "Singing Ban" incident appeared, netizens were debating it hotly. Some said that Wang Feng was jealous of Xuriyanggang, but many were impressed and said that Wang Feng's protection of his intellectual property rights was reasonable. In their apology video Xuriyanggang first of all expressed full understanding over Wang Feng's "Singing ban": "Teacher Wang Feng will definitely forgive us. Actually we had decided to stop singing Teacher Wang Feng's songs after the New Year. If we were in his position, we would do the same, you have to respect [property rights]."

Apart from apologizing Xuriyanggang sincerely thanked Wang Feng again, saying that he will "always be our savior". "Our gratitude to Teacher Wang Feng can't be expressed anymore; from entering the business to the Spring Festival Gala, we kept singing his song, and we are very grateful to him. He hasn't stopped helping us, and he will always be our savior when it comes to music."

After some days, Wang Feng's response to this sincere apology and thanks was calm: "I don't want anything in return for helping them, but it doesn't mean this incident has changed in nature. An apology is not the key to this incident, the key is what they have done wrong. Actually it's the effect this thing has had on them,it will have less and less impact with the passing of time. The issue of them becoming stronger in their own talent will become more and more important."

Netizens have used the human search flesh engine to find the real identity of Xuriyanggang. Some netizens have said that the lead singer Wang Xu (王旭) is from Henan Shangqiu, in the county of Minquan (商丘市民权县), he has worked briefly, has sold fruit, vegetables and usually eats buns and pickles, has been scammed by middlemen when looking for work, and has worked a security guard for a warehouse in Beijing. The guitarist Liu Gang (刘刚) is from Hexixiang sanxing village (穆棱市河西乡三兴村) of the Mudanjiang area of Liaoling city, Heilongjiang province. He has been in the army, worked a stall, and sang in a bar briefly. They have both been singers as well previously.

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