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Unlicensed shows now banned from Websites

CHINA'S broadcast watchdog has banned Websites from showing unlicensed films and TV shows as part of its efforts to tighten control over online audio and video content, most of which breaches the rights of copyright holders.

The new policy, published on the Website of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television on Monday, puts an end to Netizens freely uploading, viewing and sharing foreign films and television shows on domestic video-sharing Websites such as and

According to the policy, unlicensed movies, television dramas, animations or documentaries are now banned from domestic Websites.

Most of the popular TV dramas from the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea are unlicensed, according to an employee, surnamed Lei, from, one of China's biggest online television Web portals.

She said only qualified companies or TV stations entitled to distribute films and TV shows could obtain a license to do so. Websites will not be granted licenses, she said.

Most of the American dramas online were uploaded by Netizens and never authorized.

Domestic video sharing Websites have become a shortcut for local audiences to access the popular drama shows, such as "Prison Break," at almost the same time as viewers in the US.

However, some Netizens said the dramas will be still available on overseas Websites and the only thing they need to do is to add subtitles themselves.

Wang Wei, chief executive officer of, said any video clips involved in copyright disputes would be removed from immediately.

Tudou encourages original video clips, Wang added.


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