China bans music platforms from making exclusive copyright deals


The Copyright Authority in China has announced that digital music platforms are no longer allowed to sign exclusive copyright agreements, apart from certain exceptions.

The move is the latest effort by Beijing to crack down on digital companies. According to a Reuters report, China's National Copyright Agency (NCAC) shared the order last Thursday during a meeting in Beijing.

In particular the meeting covered some of the major digital music platforms along with other copyright-based record and songwriting companies. The move by copyright authorities is the latest attempt by Chinese regulators to crack down on the country's tech industry.

The Chinese government's measures seek to address growing issues such as monopolistic behavior, unfair competition and consumer rights, which have also been heavily debated in western regions such as Europe.

Just last year, Tencent Holdings announced that it had terminated all exclusive music copyright deals following orders from Chinese regulators. The intervention from the authorities comes as Tencent reportedly holds access to more than 80% of its exclusive music library.

In other words, it holds an almost complete monopoly in the market and can take advantage of upstream copyright parties to limit the entry of new players in the market.

Unfortunately, it is unknown which companies were involved in the recent meeting, although well-known brands like Xiaomi, China Mobile, and even Netease have popular streaming services in the Asian country as global streaming services like Spotify are banned in Mainland China.

"The talks emphasized that record companies, song copyright companies and digital music platforms must settle payments according to the guaranteed amount plus a share of the actual usage, and should not sign exclusive copyright agreements except in special circumstances," the NCAC explained as quoted by us from Gizmochina. , Tuesday (11/1/2022).

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