Fighting piracy is a cat-and-mouse game as technology evolves

Fighting piracy is a cat-and-mouse game as technology evolves

Staff Writer
Staff Writer
Pinduoduo Content Team
June 1, 2021

Fighting piracy has always been a cat-and-mouse game as technology changes, much like the war against counterfeiting. In the past, infringers sold pirated VCDs and DVDs of movies and dramas in physical markets. To reduce the risk of raids by law enforcement, the pirates migrated online and changed the medium to USB drives that are more portable and can store more content.

Even so, copyright owners and law enforcement could track down the infringers by following the delivery trail back to the suppliers, striking at the source and causing a decline in the sale of pirated copies. Then technology advanced, and the prevalence of high-speed network access meant the illegal content could be streamed online.

Raids on illegal streaming websites once again forced the infringers to change tack. It is common for infringers to take orders through social networks, upload illegal content to password-protected cloud storage, to be downloaded by the buyers. The content will then be removed from the cloud storage until the next order.

China’s e-commerce giants step up IP rights protection

The evolution of online piracy continues apace. There is a rising trend for users to catch up on their favorite dramas via short videos edited by vloggers from the full drama. Such hyper-condensed versions of popular films and dramas are extremely popular on short-video platforms, so much so that famous directors, producers, actors, and studios have come together to decry such practices as ripping off the work of others and threatening the viability of the entertainment industry.

Ironically, short videos were seen by film and drama distributors as an effective marketing method and a way to drum up publicity. Footage was even released specifically for short-video platforms. The problems began when users started to migrate to short-video platforms and stayed there instead of going to view the original works in their entirety.

On April 25, the National Copyright Administration said it will step up enforcement of copyright infringements committed by those in the short-video industry. The statement confirmed stricter measures against those who copied, altered, or disseminated the work of others without authorization.

Well-known producer Yu Jinwei explained that protecting copyrights and paying for high-quality content is the foundation for a creative and successful media industry. High-quality content requires considerable production costs.

How Pinduoduo keeps counterfeits off its platform

Whether the content is disseminated in full through cloud servers, or in condensed form through short-video platforms, such unauthorized infringements jeopardize content creation and puts the whole industry at risk.

To prevent this from happening, a newly revised copyright law took effect on June 1, 2021. Under the revised law, infringers face a penalty of one to five times the amount of income earned from infringing the content. They may also have to provide compensation up to 5 million yuan.

PDD is aligned with copyright holders in protecting their rights. Copyright owners can use our IP protection portal at to alert us to illegal sales of pirated copies on our platform and we will take immediate action to stop such infringement.

Additionally, PDD also works with copyright owners to offer customized IP protection. Earlier in April, PDD launched the “creators project” and invited more than a hundred independent writers to become the first batch of residents on the PDD platform. The writers receive traffic support and IP protection, and operational advice from PDD to build their profiles and increase their followers.

In this way, we not only protect their interests but help them expand their reach and visibility among our users.