Tencent Apologizes to Content Creators, Terminating Controversial “Dawn Project”

Recently, a large number of content creators on Chinese video sharing website Bilibili have released new posts, claiming that the “Dawn Project” of the Tencent Open Media content platform has infringed their rights. In response to the great controversy among creators, Tencent Open Media issued an announcement on Thursday saying, “We accept all criticisms and apologize to creators.”

Many Bilibili uploaders have posted videos and articles claiming that multi-channel network (MCN) institutions working for Tencent Open Media invited them to sign a contract to become Tencent content providers. The MCNs said after signing the contract, uploaders would receive a sum ranging from 200 yuan ($31.37) to 2,000 yuan ($313.7). After the platform and MCNs are authorized by uploader, they would post all Bilibili videos to Tencent‘s video platform, and give corresponding subsidies according to the video views. The uploader will get 70% of the subsidies and the rest will go to the MCNs.

However, the project caused various problems in the process of inviting uploaders to the Tencent platform by the MCNs. Some uploaders did not receive fees after signing the contract, some couldn’t cancel their account after entering the platform, and some MCNs reported the uploaders’ account in Bilibili in reverse after obtaining the authorization of their content, forcing the content to be displayed only on the Tencent platform, and even causing the Bilibili account to be removed because of rights infringement.

Tencent said in the announcement that the intention of the “Dawn Project” is to encourage MCNs to invite creators and help them operate under the premise of obtaining the authorization of content, so that creators can make profit on Tencent‘s various content platforms. However, due to lax management and the imperfect design of the project, many problems have been caused. Tencent has now decided to terminate the “Dawn Project.”

In response to the copyright issue, Tencent said that the intellectual property rights of any content uploaded and published by a creator when participating in the “Dawn Project” belong to the creator or the original copyright owner. “The creator authorized our non-exclusive rights, and we will not make copyright report to other platforms about the content published by the creators.”

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For creators who have joined Tencent Open Media, if they want to quit the “Dawn Project,” they can cancel their accounts, according to the firm. If some want to continue to operate their account, Tencent will continue to provide services.

Tencent Open Media is a one-stop content creation and operation platform. It officially launched the “Dawn Project” on July 28 this year, claiming to invest tens of millions of yuan with tools and services to help content agencies.

The plan is mainly for MCNs, which introduce external creators to become content providers according to the requirements of Tencent Open Media. Creators who complete relevant content posting tasks within the specified time will get money rewards and service support from the platform.