China impose tight rules for digital music distribution

January 2007

Internet, broadcasting

The Chinese government is set to impose new laws on digital music. The new measures will mean that all music products and music service operators will be required to obtain a central license from the Ministry of Culture. “ The “Guidelines on the Development and Management of Network Music” have the stated purpose of preventing problems, such as poor quality, pirated uploads and downloads, and content that “offends” ethnic groups or “affects social stability”. They will also ban the creation of ‘network entertainment firms’ funded by foreign investors and will see the government increase control over blogs and social networking sites. Whilst the new laws will primarily govern piracy in the internet and mobile space, they are also likely to have severe consequences for foreign companies looking to capitalise on the growth of digital music, especially in the mobile space.

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