Douyin, the Chinese mainland version of TikTok, announced on Thursday that it has reached a cooperation agreement with domestic video platform Sohu. Under the arrangement, Douyin, Xigua Video and Toutiao will be granted licenses related to the derivative work of all self-made movies and television works by Sohu, including the hit dramas “Medical Examiner Dr. Qin,” “Fleet of Time” and “Mysterious Love.”
From now on, these works will be available for re-creation by Douyin users. Both parties also intend to cooperate in the promotion of new dramas and other creative marketing or video collections. Douyin expressed its hope for the authorized copyright works of Sohu to deliver more creative inspiration and convenience to creators, and also to promote Sohu’s classic works to more audiences by leveraging their strength.
Short video creation has contributed significantly to the promotion of film and television in recent years, and it has become normal practice to open accounts and solicit submissions on major short video platforms for newly released movies and TV shows. Quite a few old films now come back into view through short videos, with classics such as “The Herdsman” and “Romance of The Three Kingdoms” entering the mainstream once again.
However, Chinese short video platform Douyin, operated by Beijing-based tech giant and TikTok owner ByteDance, has been subject to many copyright lawsuits. In August last year, Tencent sued Douyin and urged it to remove derivative works related to “Crime Crackdown.” In March this year, Tencent sued Douyin again, as the short videos on Douyin allegedly infringed the rights of Tencent‘s game Honor of Kings.
Douyin showed efforts to promote cooperation with more copyright owners, especially long video platforms that possess many exclusive copyright resources, and provide better copyright solutions for creators and the industry. The company believes additional cooperation could better achieve a win-win situation for creators, copyright holders and users.
Such cooperation between Sohu and Douyin probably leads to a new path for the copyright controversy between short and long videos, and perhaps, more long video platforms are expected to cooperate with short video platforms in a similar way in the future.