The much-feared and easily-misunderstood “all your net video are belong to us” bill has taken effect in the PRC today. Under this bill, all audio and video sites inside China (geographically) must be owned by the Chinese State. Or else…
Yes, except for that Or Else. Upon closer examination, yours truly found that not a single Chinese website doing AV has been shut down today. Slow day for the cops? You call the shots. Meanwhile, an additional bill which was supposed to regulate in further detail the provisions of the new bill still is not with us.
While the bureaucratic world awaits for details (and while the Internauts wait for the first site to fall victim to the new Draconian bill), experts in China are taking the new bill to task, saying that this is nothing short of discrimination against private enterprises. They, in fact, point out that the new bill goes against a 2005 Chinese State Council document, which in essence made the private and State-owned market equal. Questions are raised about why those websites must be State-owned now if they were never State-owned at the beginning.
Only time will tell if this new bill bears teeth — or is merely another legalese paper tiger.