Internet may be closed for not having a license

Image source: Beijing News

Update (2009.12.09 20:19): VeryCD now displays the following message on its front page:


We are sorry to report a large-scale line fault where VeryCD's servers are located.

Preliminary estimates have access returning to normal mid-day on December 10.

Please accept another sincere apology for any inconvenience caused.

Yesterday Chinese media reported on the cases of website closures due to copyright infringement. China Daily wrote:

Movie fans were surprised recently when they visited popular websites that offer free entertainment downloads and found them closed by regulators after China ramped up its battle against copyright infringement.

The move left millions of Chinese users disappointed after they checked out their favorite BitTorrent (BT) websites.

BT sites offer peer-to-peer file sharing protocol used to distribute large amounts of data. Last week, many such sites were either gone completely or carrying messages advising that links to downloadable movies and TV shows were unavailable.

BTChina, a popular video sharing website, displayed a notice saying the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) had ordered it to close because it had no license to provide audio and video content.

Today, one of the more popular music, film and TV series sharing sites,, displayed "Network Timeout" and failed to connect. An article from the entertainment section of The Beijing News today ran an article about VeryCD and its application for a license to share content, the "Information Network Broadcast Audio Visual Programming Permission Certificate" (信息网络传播视听节目许可证), which VeryCD does not currently have. The Beijing News article is translated below:

VeryCD admits to not having a license

by Yang Lin (杨林) / TBN Entertainment

Mainland site for sharing movies and TV site BT China (BT中国联盟) was closed because it didn't have a "Information Network Broadcast Audio Visual Programming Permission Certificate." Yesterday, Huang Yimeng (黄一孟), who is responsible for the very famous mainland website for sharing film and TV programs content,, said when interviewed by this reporter: "Many thanks for everyone's support of VeryCD, we also don't have a license, and are in the process of applying for one with the relevant authorities." As for the rumor that the website will change its format to a Social Networking Site (SNS) such as Kaixin001, Huang said, "We have been developing the forums for a long time, as well as online games and SNS. This isn't a measure taken in response to the closure of BT China."
VeryCD is a famous website for sharing movies and TV series. As it's a registered company, VeryCD's influence is far greater than BT China. At the time of going to print, the website has 25,553 movies and 160,000 points of resource for download. When Huang Yimeng was interviewed by this reporter, he already knew that BT China had been shut down. "We haven't yet received a notification for rectify and reform from SARFT. But we don't have a license, and are in the process of applying for one." As for the result of the application and the future direction of the company, Huang said: "It's inconvenient for me to answer this question. If there is progress, we will put the information on the website."

Yesterday netizens found that VeryCD were promoting their SNS sections, so the rumor that they were going to become a social networking site kept spreading.

The rumor that VeryCD will close has made the influence on netizens very dramatic. Many netizens heard that it will "close at the end of the month," and started a frenzy of "final downloading," hoping to save their favorite movies and series onto their hard disks. The many people downloading effect has made many cold resources hot. One user said in the HD section of a forum that a previously slow download is now three times as fast.

Emule (电驴) is free for Internet users to use and VeryCD is the biggest sharer of Emule resources. From the notice on the VeryCD site, all the contents of the site is managed and provided by users, Emule on VeryCD has accumulated a download rate of 300 million, and everyday there are tens of thousands of users who share their contents through VeryCD, including that of films, music, games, software and other resources.

Update (2009.12.10): ChinaHush translates a National Business Daily article that includes extensive quotes with the webmaster behind BitTorrent@China.

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There are currently 13 Comments for may be closed for not having a license.

Comments on may be closed for not having a license

The main page of the site currently says it estimates it will be back December 10th, not December 20th.

Data entry error. Thanks, Kaiwen.

Good riddance! was a very blatant copyright violator. That's a crackdown I really support!

"Good riddance! was a very blatant copyright violator. That's a crackdown I really support!"

these people out there who has similar thoughts, let me tell you how dump you are!

can you tell me what if there is no such free resource from beginning, are you going to have a live you have now? are you going to have a such great chance to study advanced skills, people could learn if they wish without any finicial barriers, are you going to see the arts world widely? ask yourself how many people could afford a legal copy of software!how could young peoples learn without a tool!
for exmaple: a most common software deveploment tool like "Visual Studio Pro 2008"
it will cost you about 8000 RMB, if we don't have free! how many student in china can buy! you tell me! such a fool!
don't give me that copyright story, i knew it! but china is not ready for it! look around you, how many people could afford these "legal things".

people like you have no idea how much these "free things" contribute to this country.
people absorve knowledage from all over the world via it.

think ! before you talk!

i agree with nathan... but the fault would be now the original / OEM / any other copyrighted products are too expensive... perhaps they can get the price down a bit...

The site appears to be back up and functioning now.

Chinese learners, rejoice!

Things could be priced more affordably for the Chinese market, no doubt, but no matter how you want to justify it, you are not ENTITLED to unlimited free entertainment. I won't pretend I've never downloaded anything or bought anything pirated, but I'm not going to complain about injustice if companies want to protect the products that they invest time and money in and sell to keep employing people. After all, I can't just steal a Ferrari off the lot because the price doesn't agree with me, can I? The primary difference, really, is that movies and software are just easier to steal.

Or they can actually survive the "investigate" process of the party.

@Nathan, no doubts you are 100% chinese nationalist, you want everything for free, and of course after you will sell it in EBAY or Toabaa ...

why they should give that for free to China, what chinese give for free ??
if they are too expensive don't buy it create one

Don't feel surprise after that, if many people criticize china and chinese people

China is not improving is decreasing due to people like you, thinking you are the owner of the world

In the PRC you have the choice of illegally downloading movies, buying illegal copies on the black market, or not having them at all. So many movies aren't released legally in China that this is the only way to get hold of them. It's not as if Hollywoood loses money on these movies, thay wouldn't be able to make money to begin with. Spare a thought for bored Chinese students who have to put up with boring legal forms of entertainment like repetitive dramas about CCP vs. the KMT in the 1940's or CCP vs. Japan. Then there are the cases where you can;t legally buy copies of Hong Kong movies in their original language and you have to buy a Mandarin version. I know what I'd rather do if I spoke Cantonese and lived in Guangzhou.

"The primary difference, really, is that movies and software are just easier to steal. "

Well, another difference is that once produced, the cost of reproducing and distributing a cd/dvd/digital data is minimal compared to making another ferrari.

also BTchina has been closed. so pretty much both bit torrent and emule are more or less gone in China. end of a era perhaps.

VeryCD company fakes eMule and eDonkey, violates GNU GPL. Users of easyMule cannot search the whole eDonkey network at all.

See VeryCD on Wikipedia

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