Media and Advertising
Posted by Joel Martinsen on Thursday, October 20, 2005 at 11:48 PM
Pirates of the world, unite!
So while Baidu's getting sued over its music downloads, the Chinese MP3 maker Aigo has launched a pay download site inspired by iTunes, but at 1/8th the price since it is denominated in RMB. MP3s and music videos ready to be downloaded to your flash player.
That's nice and all, but as I was doing research on the P2P networks the other day, I came across the following:
VeryCD I'd run into before; it's the manifesto that's new to me (see the end of this article for a full translation). It's a libertarian websurfer's dream: free downloads, few ads, and all of the sexy software kids are talking about these days. It's even licensed under Creative Commons.
And for all its bluster about cutting down on copyright violations, the Chinese government, through the Shanghai section of the Ministry of Information Industry, has given its stamp of approval to this website that offers downloads of such public-domain classics as Lost, Microsoft Office, and The Myth.
VeryCD's business model is unclear. Besides serving up eMule and BitTorrent links, it develops Chinese versions of eMule, Firefox, and Media Player Classic — all free programs — and it is hiring new programmers. There are very few ads on its site (and not just in comparison to other Chinese sites), though it does invite donations "to cover bandwidth costs." It has partnerships set up with many other websites, but one expects that these might evaporate depending on what happens in the Baidu suits.
"Death to pay download sites" would seem to preclude a Napster-like transition if it gets shut down, but the files will still be around on the P2P networks, and perhaps people will still carry the torch for uniformly-labeled, sensibly organized and categorized pirated media.
The full "VeryCD Sharing Plan":
Links and Sources
Jobs in China
Henry on The Eurasian Face
Caroline W on Big in China
Michael on Julia Lovell on translating Lu Xun's complete fiction: "His is an angry, searing vision of China"
Brandon K. on Clueless academic takes on popular fantasy novels
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
Books on China
The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Korean history doesn't fly on Chinese TV screens (2007.09): SARFT puts the kibbosh on Korean historical dramas.
+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.