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News app under probe over IPR issue

2014-06-24 08:48 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

Popular news application Jinri Toutiao, or "today's headlines," is under investigation for alleged intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement, the People's Daily reported Monday, citing an official with the National Copyright Administration (NCA).

Yu Cike, director of the Copyright Management Division of the NCA, confirmed that the administration has filed an investigation into Jinri Toutiao.

The administration has received numerous complaints from traditional media outlets which claimed that the website had illegally reproduced or reposted their stories, said Yu.

The NCA launched a crackdown campaign on Internet IPR infringement on June 12. It also pledged to improve a copyright certificate mechanism for print media to cooperate with news portals.

Jinri Toutiao responded Monday that it is cooperating with the investigation, reported IT news portal donews.com.

Jinri Toutiao claims it is "a gateway to the news rather than a producer," and pushes "customized" top stories from various print media and news portals, relying on a machine learning algorithm that records users' reading interests.

Beijing-based technology firm Byte Dance, which operates the application, has announced that it has garnered 40 million active users since August 2012.

Byte Dance secured a third-round financing of $100 million on June 3, valuing the company at over $500 million.

Jinri Toutiao signed a cooperation agreement with dayoo.com, a website that owns the IPR of Guangzhou Daily on Wednesday. The latter has previously sued the application for IPR infringements but withdrew the suit after the cooperation pact was announced.

However, a website which owns the IPR of Changsha Evening News announced over the weekend that it demanded Jinri Toutiao to immediately cease the illegal use of its content.

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