Wuxiaworld Formal Response to Qidian Licensing Issues Post

Dear readers, this might be the most important post I’ve made since the creation of Wuxiaworld, so I encourage you to read it closely, as it involves the very existence and longevity of this community. As of May 22, 2017 the Yuewen Group, the parent group of Qidian International, sent a formal letter in Chinese making several copyright-related requests of us, and also posted on a libelous statement on NovelUpdates Forum. This is our formal response to that statement (we’ll be responding privately to the private email), because all of you who have been with us for so long deserve to know what is happening.

It is extremely unfortunate that Qidian chose to make our disagreements public, as well as quite unprofessional.  Unfortunately, over the course of my past half year of engagement with them it has become apparent to me that Western standards of professionalism are perhaps different from the standards which monopolistic Chinese companies might have.

For some months now, Wuxiaworld and Qidian were actually in intensive talks for an investment partnership, and we opened up all of our books and data to them.  While I cannot disclose any details due to a non-disclosure agreement, what I can say is that the talks were extremely serious but in the end, due to Qidian imposing many clauses on both the translators and the company which I found unacceptable, our talks fell through roughly a week or two ago.  Note the term, ‘a week or two ago‘.  In other words, they know everything about what we have been doing, so their claims of not receiving ‘notification’ or ‘permission’ are completely bogus.  But more on that later.

There have been many cases during the past six months when I have been forced to ‘bite my tongue’ as I’ve watched Qidian’s English representatives publicly proclaim how much they wish to support fan translators when in private they have taken a mix of threats and warnings to try and force translators to join their own platform.  I won’t name them and will let them stand out if they so choose, but there have been many times that I have wished to speak out and publicize some of this, but since I had to look out for our own translators and our own working relationship with Qidian, I was forced to bite my tongue.  That is no longer the case.

When we first negotiated with Qidian and reached an agreement of twenty novels, it was agreed that this would serve as the framework for future authorizations as well.  It was made extremely clear to Qidian that Wuxiaworld does not select novels, it selects translators, which means that they bring the novels they are working on over to Wuxiaworld.  In addition to the formal authorizations agreement, we had an oral commitment from Qidian stating that we can bring new novels onto the site, then bring them under the authorizations umbrella once every quarter.  This was the reason why Wuxiaworld has brought in new Qidian novels over the past few months, and for Qidian to suddenly renege on its oral commitments to Wuxiaworld is not only dishonest, it causes serious damages to us and our reputation and we will be seeking appropriate compensation from them if we are indeed forced to halt translation of the new projects.

Many of you might be wondering why Qidian is doing this.  In short, in China Qidian holds a near-monopolistic stranglehold on the online reading market, and they are very used to having control over all things they work on.  In any market, monopolies are a bad thing.  In my negotiations with Qidian, it became increasingly clear to me that they were more interested in having Wuxiaworld as a stepping-stone for their own Qidian International website, which they intend to paywall in a few months.  Now that I have declined their onerous and inequitable terms (again, cannot discuss due to NDA), they wish to put the screws to us and take by force what they were unable to do through contractual negotiations.  There are also talks of them potentially wishing to buy Gravity, now that the deal with Wuxiaworld has fallen through.  If that is the case, then it adds a new dimension to the reasons behind their actions, but I am not privy to those conversations and can only speculate.

Qidian’s post in the NovelUpdates Forum is not only insulting and unprofessional, it is flat-out libelous in many areas and we will pursue them for that in a court of law.  Their claim that we ‘privately approached the translators of Gravity‘ is a defamatory claim, designed to use Gravity’s reputation as their cat’s paw against Wuxiaworld in the public sphere; every single person who moved over from Gravity would tell you that we did not actively recruit any previous Gravity translators, and that they made a request of their own free will to join Wuxiaworld.  You can ask them for yourselves.

Similarly, the claim that Wuxiaworld did not get ‘permission’ or give ‘notification’ to Qidian is also a defamatory statement, since Qidian has been aware of every single action we have taken.  In fact, Qidian actually encouraged us to try and obtain more of Gravity’s novels when they believed we would sign with them, which we declined because it was never our intention to ‘go after’ Gravity, nor have we ever tried to poach Gravity’s translators.  For them to publicly claim there was ‘no notification’ and then call our actions ‘unacceptable’ and ‘out of business ethic’ is libelous, and we will take appropriate legal action as necessary.

Their claims that we will ‘send the twenty novels to them’ veer uncomfortably in the area covered by NDA, and so I won’t address that here and instead will respond privately.  However, I believe there’s a significant difference in how we are interpreting the contract vs how they are interpreting it, and unless we are specifically ordered by an arbitrator or a court of law to hand those translations over, we will not be doing so.  They picked the wrong arena and the wrong person to fight.  As for their request for us to take down the eleven ‘unauthorized’ translations, we will also fight them in any court of law on the grounds that we started these projects after they had given oral agreements for us to start them, and will demand compensation and damages from them if they wish for us to cease the translations.

The next few months might be a bit rocky, but I am comforted by knowing that we have not only an outstanding group of translators at Wuxiaworld, but also an outstanding group of fans that are so supportive, it attracted the attention of China’s biggest publishers, for better or worse.  I won’t ask that you boycott their website; this is our fight, not yours.  But I do ask for your support as we carry through and deal with the issues raised today.

Thank you all, and may God bless 🙂

Ren

Advertisement

742 thoughts on “Wuxiaworld Formal Response to Qidian Licensing Issues Post” - NO SPOILERS

  1. oh qidian.. oh qidian.. monopoly is not meant for business..you know that, but you still want to do it.. we are not in your old dynasties where you could conquer whoever you want..

  2. #SupportWuxiaWorld
    I don’t know weather to laugh or throw shit on qidian’s face… most of their novels boycott these kind of things, but they themselves do shit like these??
    They should be ashamed.

    1. How About also adding in these #’S? #QidianSucks #DisciplineTheseDirtyDogs #GetRidOfQidianTrash Whatever else you guys can come up with the more the better. Lets tear these Trash a new asshole!

  3. Aye… I’ve also noticed how Qidian wanted to monopolize the reading market. They’ve already almost done so in China, now, they want to do it too in the English market.

    Why?

    Because the China Government is developing a world-wide plan of extending all of their gelatinous tentacles on every market they can get their hands to and with that said, since Qidian is arbitrarily announced as a non-government company, in the shadows, the Chinese Government still have their claws on every Major Company under their National Influence.

    This may sound a little overboard but we can feel this happening from the way the Chinese Government had unleashed their massive invasion of “Made in China” products and actually infected almost 40% of the world-wide market in terms of items, products, and services that most people use.

    A strategy of this scale had long since been in motion and only now could the world citizens who are aware of the market movement are noticing these almost insignificant effects.

    Before it was just a small movement, but now even the tiniest fluctuation in the market shares in the large screen gets big that even these small actions of “Influencing the English Reading Community” can be said to be part of the invasion.

    I dare suggest that this issue is not just a simple one.

    Master Ren, I may sound a bit ridiculous here but I beg thee that you must not bow down on the demands of the Qidian bastards.

    The [F5] Sect shall forever stand as your pillars of support.

    We may be weak alone but there are millions of us and with your beck and call, we will push our hands up and support you on every dot.

    I call upon the daoist brothers in the Heavenly Refresh Sect, the Vagrant Refreshers, and the other Sects in the Wuxia World to forget former and past disputes, and join hands with the [F5] Sect to support our Grand Patriarch, Ren, in winning against the blasphemous and scandalous lies that the Qidian bastards are spreading.

    This community had given birth to countless miracles such as mine… from being a drug addict into becoming a martial practitioner, thanks to the guidance of Meng Hao… so I beg thee to everyone that we join hands in supporting our Grand Patriarch, Ren.

    ——Daoist Electric Fan

      1. Same here 🙂

        And thank you so much WW. I’ve been doggedly following you since Coiling Dragon; every time you added a new novel I quite literally leapt for joy. You are by far (very, very, very, far) my favorite translator site… No small compliment since I’ve read or am reading upwards of 200 translated novels. I’ve laughed more than once at finding a novel I’d been especially enjoying suddenly appear on WW. The dedication and quality that you uphold blows everyone else out of the water, and Quidan is much mistaken if it thinks it can beat you.

        Whatever support I can give I will give freely. Thank you so very much and keep up the amazing work! (Really, I don’t know what I’d do if you ever disappeared so count me in for any sect battles)

  4. Wow Qidian is just pathetic. ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC! Now idc about all you others who may or may not see my post but for those who are. We as fans of Wuxia and supporters who have donated for extra chapters and all that mumbo jumbo. We really gonna let Qidian walk over WW like this? Honestly for those true fans and members of WW none of us and i mean NONE OF US should be on Qidian. Hell it honestly WOULD NOT be a bad idea if ALL OF US BOYCOTT QIDIAN. Regardless if Ren has asked us too or not this is the LEAST we can do is not going on Qidian whatsoever hell we should even CTRLC/CTRLV this and post it everywhere so everybody gets wind of this.

      1. I’m just angered how pathetic Qidian is. That’s where my anger is directed 100% Qidian and no one else. I am quite good for stirring up the blood in others. ^^ I would say it’s probably my best personal trait is the way i can stir someones anger naturally.

  5. Also for this second post could also be considered spam however Ren what you should do is publicize all the negotiations and all that good stuff. or hell just PM it to us readers and we can spread it out. After all Qidian can cover up 1 post or get it deleted but can they cover up hundreds upon thousands? And if that’s not even maybe even millions of posts can be done so everything would be in favor. After all the QIDIAN DOGS are ACTING UP it’s time to DISCIPLINE THESE DOGS.

  6. I’d rather read MTLs than pay for their translations. Im sure there won’t be much difference anyway.

    Keep up the good work Ren & WW and stay strong.

  7. Ren I hope you guys in WW can mend your relationship with qidian. At the end of the day the novels belong to qidian.
    Chinese law does have fair use exemptions for non-profit sharing, but accepting donations is a bit of a grey area.
    Under western law, the treatment of copyright is even more overbearing, all translations are derivative works and have no rights without the author’s permission. You won’t get anywhere if you decide to be litigious.

    WW has developed into a great supportive community and collected possibly some of the greatest translators in the chinese-english translation world. Qidian won’t do as well if they decide to go at it alone and with their old volume based business model. The chinese novel scene isn’t big enough. And putting up a paywall before it has a chance to grow will stifle the development of the market.

    Not mention there’s literally tons of untranslated novels out there. Instead of fighting each other over the rights of a few novels, why not try to work together to translate more novels instead.

    1. Hahahaa!!! I don’t want to belittle you!! but you surely haven’t read the post at all. I came here after hearing an announcement on Qidian, as I don’t believe any shit they say. And as I thought Qidian is the asshole here.
      P.S. If the world started arguing over the copyrights with china, there will be nothing left.
      When dealing with crooks.. you need to be a crook.

    2. Gogo318, I agree with you. Chinese laws on copyright! My eye! They are saying it while copying everything. I think it is REN who introduced the idea of licensing. And now they’re putting on air.

      Vas te faire foutre!

      1. In case you haven’t noticed, almost Wuxiaworld’s entire catalog of novels are from Qidian. In what world do you think a publisher is willing to let some unauthorised fan translator make thousands of dollars a month from their work without shutting it down? Without Qidian, Wuxiaworld wouldn’t exist.

        Frankly I’m surprised at all these anti-Qidian, anti-China comments on site that almost exclusively hosts Qidian Chinese novels.

        Talk about the ignorant biting the hand that feeds them.

  8. I have a question an author sing up with Qidian does the contract stipulate that international rights belong to Qidian? if it’s the case, not all of them right?

  9. I am a bit late in replying, hope this gets read. I work in the pharma industry (drugs, medical devices, etc.). The Western pharma industry has learned the hard way that dealing with Chinese businesses is dangerous. The following has happened multiple times with many different companies on both sides:

    1) Someone will initiate a deal that requires due diligence. As part of due diligence, mutual NDAs will get signed.
    2) The companies get each other’s data/procedures under the NDA.
    3) The Chinese company stops the deal and proceeds to use the information illegally, e.g. uses the knowledge to set up their own manufacturing.

    The Western company has little recourse at that point – they can attempt legal action, but the Chinese legal system is very different than Western legal systems and it recognizes Western/international business law basically only when it wants to. So there’s little way to prosecute successfully unless the Chinese company has a business arm under Western law.

    This is just one outline, there are a number of additional variations on the con. And to survive, you must think of it as a con, not a failed business transaction.

    But step 3) mostly involves ignoring the Western company. The fact that Qidian is still doing things, and the fact that they are attacking you, indicates they still want something. That something could be your money, your website, your translators, etc., or it could be just to make a point that all translations have to go through them. You should think of other avenues they might attack you and try to forestall them. There are a couple of tactics you haven’t mentioned that you should be aware of and try to anticipate:
    A) Overwhelming by lawsuit. Basically, file so many frivolous lawsuits that simply trying to answer them will bankrupt a smaller business. Discuss this possibility with a lawyer.
    B) Threatening your translators and authors. Basically, it would cost Qidian very little to put together a threatening form letter from a law company and send it to your translators (if they can get contact information) or the authors (and they can get contact information for them). Scaring the translators/authors into quitting would kill your business. Warn your translators/authors and try to set up some sort of collective response, because Qidian can use pressure tactics on individuals much easier than they can on collectives.

    1. they want all the translators to migrate over to their site…..they said it in their statement “all 11 unauthorized works and their translators are welcome on our site” or something along those lines…….im guessing those 11 are the 11 that existed on the site for the last couple years? (ATG, DE, and the works?) also….i assume the 20 novels are under NDA but can we have a list of the novels NOT a part of the NDA? (we can do maths)

  10. Qidian Qidian Qidian.. This name appears quite frequently these days… And it IS annoying.
    WW, and other websites alike might look like treasure troves, which might fall to your hands by your sly and shameless wits.
    BUT
    I’m asking, are you blind? Can’t you see those crouching tigers and hidden dragons around the treasure troves? You think they will let you take them just like that?
    Who are those tigers and dragons?
    Well, go to the comment section of all the chapters posted here in WW and other websites and make a list of them all, and that might not be all of them..
    I personally wont bite, at least NOT NOW.. Since you are still just poking the treasures..
    But, when you actually dare to take them, I’ll roar thunder and breath flame–ehm’.. that’s too dramatic..
    Say, your (web’s) face is a bit, unsightly.. I can tidy it up 🙂 I can add a bit “this” and “that” :))

  11. 其实也是意料之中的,起点是一个典型的“作恶”的公司,尤其在早年网文还没有得到重视的年代,起点是出了名的压榨和剥削作者,许多大神也是因此出走的,爆出的种种丑恶嘴脸也不必多说了,WW和起点最大的不同就是起点是彻头彻尾的商业公司,且毫无道德可言,作者和其作品只是他们的摇钱树,而WW无论规模多大,本质上也是粉丝自发聚集的组织,是富有人情味的。我支持WW充分维护自己的权益,日后也可以和纵横等其他小说网站合作,或是翻译其他作品。
    In fact, it is well known that Qidian is a typical “evil” company in China, especially in the early years when Wuxia novel has not attracted many attention. Qidian is notorious for oppresssing and exploiting its authors, and that’s why many famous authors like MengRuShenJI( the author of Eternal Life ), FangXiang (Card Disciple, World of Cultivation) leave it and go to other company. The biggest difference between the WW and Qidian is that Qidian is a downright business company, and there is no moral at all, authors are just their cash cow. However, regardless of what size it is now, WW is a fan-gathering organization, which is much more human. I fully support WW to protect their own interests, in the future I wish WW can also work with other fiction website cooperation like ZongHeng 纵横, or just translate Korea or Japanese novels.

  12. I just made an account just to complain about this.

    Those retards don’t even have proper translators – I’ve tried reading there. Their translations are rough. Most novels don’t even got proofreaders, as it seems – why would anyone pay fees for reading there? They think they can milk the western fans by giving us those dogfarts? If Wuxia and Xianxia are going to degrade like that, then I’m out. Not like there is nothing else to read. I mean, I love eastern web novels, but I gotta have proper translations and a proper community like this one. Ren is definitely profiting as well but I can feel commitment and love. The translations are quick, well done and very professional.

    I honestly think we should boycott Qidian. Hope they invested the money for coming to the western market into nothing.

    I study business and law in Germany, so I don’t quite know how this is done in China but normally even though they may be able to ban your translations as long as they publish in the same zone, they won’t be able to force you to hand your translations over, no? Then they will die out soon enough anyways. I don’t believe that the WW community (which is the biggest part of the Wuxia Xianxia Community in the western world) will be very friendly, when it comes to Qidian -not the GG or Volare Community either. And their quality is way worse as well. So as long as they continue this way, the problem will sooner or later solve itself. Especially when they start paywalling their crap.

    I hope we won’t see WW dying. I really enjoy coming here between lessons and in the evening to relax. Ive read pretty much every chapter here – been silently leeching since the very start. If it comes to lawsuit donations, even I would be willing to donate a bit, even though I don’t got all that much as a university student. 🙂 Thanks a lot.

  13. Im new in this, just a few months reading novels but I appreciate all the work the translators and editors do while translating these novels. Thank you!
    Qidian really seems like some third rate villian from a movie.
    This seems like a new arc in IRAS…
    Go Face Smacking Zhang Ye!
    I mean…. go Ren!
    You have all our support!
    #SupportWuxiaWorld

  14. This…how can such a thing happen in our great continent.
    All the big sect out there it is no time to compete with each other, lets all unite and stop the invasion of sidian dog

  15. Ren iv been reading on WW since way back. The work you and your fellow translators do is godly in my opinion, if i didnt support you then i should never support anyone in my life, you guys are what keeps me from having nothing to read on my free time so as a person who has been reading off of WW since way back i support ya anytime our sect is in crysis us guys from the sect have to defend it be it for the blood oath or for the sake of it being our second home WW shall not fall!

  16. RWX, support!!

    Well, I can only wish for the best. I’m not blindly supporting WW just because CD baptized me here. I just can’t keep my cool around QI and their claims. For a company like theirs, they seem to easily forget “business ethics” and “professionalism”.

    Besides, even if I try to view the issue objectively, I can’t. For QI, to call us “market” and “consumer” yet claim that they ain’t here for money??? … I spit.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/noveltranslations/comments/5ppev1/about_qidian_international/dcsskgc/?context=3

  17. Those guys at QI are used to step on people in china and now they think they can do the same here! they have being pulling so many translators to their side and those who wont go have seen their sites shut down, received threats to stop translating, and GOD know what else.

  18. Rwx, we are appalled to hear this. It is truly saddening to see such action, though perhaps not entirely surprising. We give you all our best wishes, and know that things will work out for you for the better.

    Long live Wuxiaworld, and long live fan translations.

  19. Honestly, Qidian should just stop bitching about this licensing shit, after all, Where were they when it all first started? where were they, talking about licensing shit when none of the CN that they host in QI China was popular enough to gain any attention of the international fans? where is the QI website, when this all first started!? nowhere! because, they know that they can’t profit from it at that time, now they want the novels back just because they know they can gain a lot of money, they can’t just do this to WW just because they want to earn more money! it’s disgusting!

  20. Honestly, Qidian should just stop bitching about this licensing shit, after all, Where were they when it all first started? where were they, talking about licensing shit when none of the CN that they host in QI China was popular enough to gain any attention from the international fans? where is the QI website, when this all first started!? nowhere! because, they know that they can’t gain any profit from it at that time, now they want the novels back just because they know they can gain a lot of money, they can’t just do this to WW just because they want to earn more money! it’s disgusting!

Leave a Reply