The Poor or the Rockstar:A Game Between Sympathy and Justice

Wang Feng invited XuRi YangGang to his Live Show in Shanghai as guest performers.

In former posts, one of our contributors talked about the migrant workers’ performance on CCTV Spring Festival Gala. The song “In the Spring Days”, after performed by the “XuRi YangGang” (XRYG) band, became more influential and has moved millions of people. But recently, the original author of the song, Wang Feng, a famous Chinese rockstar, claimed that he would withdraw XRYG’s rights to use the song. Through this issue, we can discover something interesting in Chinese legal society construction process.

Migrant Wokers' Band: XuRi YangGang
XuRi YangGang became nationally famous after the CCTV Spring Festival Gala.

The issue rapidly aroused a heated debate about both sides’ reactions. Some people hold the view that it is XRYG that makes the song widely known. Through the song, the migrant workers are telling their feelings about the unfair life, which is really affecting. They believe that Wang is just jealous of the fame and attention XRYG has earned.

Rockstar Wang Feng
Wang Feng is one of the best Chinese rock singers. The song “In the Spring Days” won him many awards and much fame.

In Wang’s response, he maintains that it is unnecessary for him to be jealous. It is his appreciation of XRYG’s positive attitude on hard life that has moved him to lend them his song to perform on the Spring Festival Gala. But he cannot tolerate XRYG’s excessive use of his song on commercial performances, which he believes is a blasphemy against Rock and a violation of his intellectual property.

I have no intention of discussing the artistic value of each side’s performance. I just want to pinpoint one interesting fact in this case that XRYG is using only Wang’s products on all kinds of commercial performances, for which they are definitely got paid, after the Gala. It has surpassed the boundary of “Borrowing”, instead of a kind of infringement. Maybe XRYG introduced the song to more people than Wang did, or maybe they can even perform the song better than Wang. But one unquestionable fact is that, as the original author of the song, Wang owns the protection of intellectual property. Chinese people have been long for a legal society for many years. But when some certain cases like this occur, they chronically surrendered to their heartfelt sympathy. They have a instinctive impulse to protect the poor and be hostile to the strong and rich, sometimes ignoring the legal justice.

About ShuzeChen

Shuze Chen is a full time graduate student at SPR, Annenberg, USC. He comes from Jiangsu, China. He did his undergraduate in Advertising, Nanjing University.
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