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
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!