MPAA Renews Piracy Battle With China's Xunlei

China Dragons Illustration - P 2014
Illustration by: Lars Leetaru

China Dragons Illustration - P 2014

Despite signing a deal with the Chinese music and video sharing company, MPAA says Xunlei is not implementing efforts to stop copyright infringement.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has filed civil actions against the popular Google-backed Chinese-language video and music file-sharing firm Xunlei, alleging multiple acts of copyright infringement.

The MPAA said in a statement it had filed the actions on Jan. 19 in the Nanshan District Court in the southern city of Shenzhen, seeking damages, claims for orders to stop the infringing activity, a public apology and requesting that the Chinese video and music sharing company bear the studios’ litigation costs, the MPAA said in a statement.

"A healthy, sustainable and developing online video sector will greatly benefit audiences and movie and technology businesses, however this outcome is only possible if quality film and television content is respected and protected at every stage of the value chain," said Mike Ellis, the MPAA's Asia Pacific chief.

"For too long we have witnessed valuable creative content being taken and monetized without the permission of the copyright owner. That has to stop and stop now. Content creators and rights holders will continue to exercise their rights under the law to protect their work and consequentially be able to provide the best possible experience for online audiences," Ellis said.

Xunlei operates streaming video and download accelerators, but its pirate links forced it to cancel an IPO back in 2011.

In June last year, Xunlei agreed to implement a comprehensive system to protect MPAA members' copyrighted works from unauthorized downloading.

Xunlei, which was sued in 2008 by the Hollywood studios for film piracy, entered into a comprehensive Content Protection Agreement (CPA) with the MPAA to protect film and television content online, and to educate users on how best to access only legal versions of movies and TV shows.

However, over the course of the year it became clear that the MPAA was unhappy how Xunlei was operating the CPA. In October, the MPAA issued a report saying despite the agreement there was "no evidence that Xunlei has fulfilled its obligations and wide levels of infringement are still evident."