China: 中国知网触碰《反垄断法》高压线

Last Updated: 2 March 2017
Article by Dentons  

中国知网,全称为中国知识基础设施工程(China National Knowledge Infrastructure,CNKI),是以实现全社会知识资源传播共享与增值利用为目标的信息化建设项目,其中文全文数据库的建设目前在国内处于领先水平。

2016年3月30日,北京大学图书馆主页挂出通知,称由于中国知网涨价幅度过高,这所国内Top1、每年都拿到教育部高额资助的大学或将无力支付其使用费。消息一出引起了社会广泛关注,也引发了各界对中国知网种种行为的论辩。有人从知识产权保护的角度指出,中国知网涨价反映了中国付费购买知识产权的趋势;也有人从资源共享的角度切入,批评中国知网的诸多行为都违背了其最初实现创新知识资源共享的承诺。而本文将从反垄断法角度对中国知网所涉诸多行为进行剖析。

首先,中国知网滥用其在国内中文学术文章检索服务市场上的支配地位,对论文作者制定不公平低价并附加不合理交易条件、给用户制定不公平高价并实行差别待遇,限定期刊只能与其进行交易,此其罪一也;借助行政力量的支持,中国知网成为我国唯一经国家批准正式出版博士学位论文的学术电子期刊,限制了博士学位论文的出版与传播,此其罪二也。下文将对这两重罪进行深入分析。

一、中国知网滥用市场支配地位

(一)相关市场界定

1、相关商品市场

中国知网的服务内容主要包括中国知识资源总库、数字出版平台、文献数据评价和知识检索。其中,中国知识资源总库囊括了中国期刊全文数据库、中国博士学位论文数据库、中国优秀硕士学位论文全文数据库、中国重要报纸全文数据库和中国重要会议论文全文数据库的检索服务。在这些数据库中,引发社会广泛争议的是期刊全文数据库、博士学位论文数据库和优秀硕士论文数据库的服务。因这些数据库提供的文章均为中文,因此我们将其统称为中文学术文章检索服务。除中国知网等数据库外,市场上并没有其他提供中文学术文章检索服务的替代产品。因此我们认为,中国知网所涉滥用行为的相关商品市场应界定为"中文学术文章检索服务市场"。

2、相关地域市场

中文学术文章检索服务商能向全国范围内的用户提供中文学术文章的检索服务,能与全国范围内的其他服务商进行市场竞争,不会受到任何地域限制。同时,只要网络畅通,需求者也可在全国范围内寻求中文学术文章的检索服务。而且需求者一般也不会从其他国家和地区寻求中文学术文章的检索服务。因此我们将中国知网所涉滥用行为的相关地域市场界定为"中国国内市场"。

(二)中国知网具有市场支配地位

1、中国知网在相关市场中的市场份额

在国内中文学术文章检索服务市场上主要有中国知网、万方、维普、读秀等竞争者。其中,在期刊检索市场上,中国知网已签下1698种独家期刊, 1相比万方和维普签下的几百种,中国知网已处于遥遥领先的地位。而在论文检索服务市场上,中国知网目前是我国唯一经国家批准正式出版博士学位论文的学术电子期刊,独揽了博士学位论文的电子出版权。

从用户角度看,在高校用户市场上,只有中国知网得到了全国100%"211""985"高校的使用。 2维普、读秀等数据库,一般只有北京大学、清华大学等国内一流大学订购,其他高校由于经费有限往往只能集中财力购买拥有最高覆盖率的中国知网。而且,高校学生普遍已经习惯使用中国知网查阅文献资料,"中国知网如果停用,论文就没法写了","在写论文时,需要参考大量的资料,而中国知网的资料相对来说都是比较新的,而且资料也很全,平时交论文作业也都是用中国知网"。 3除高校市场外,其他企事业单位以及大多数个人用户,基于中国知网的新与全,也都用它进行学术文章的检索查询。可以说,中国知网已独揽绝大多数的中文学术文章检索用户。

综上所述,中国知网在国内中文学术文章检索服务市场上的市场份额应可以达到《反垄断法》第十九条规定的二分之一标准,从而被推定具有市场支配地位。

2、中国知网控制相关市场的能力

对于各大高校客户,中国知网的中文学术文章检索服务每年的涨价幅度都在10%以上。 4武汉理工大学图书馆称,2000年以来中国知网对该校的报价,每年涨幅都超过10%,2012年涨幅高达24.36%,而2010年到2016年的报价涨幅高达132.86%,年平均涨幅为18.98%。 5在价格涨幅如此巨大的情况下,大多数高校仍选择继续使用中国知网,即使是因财力不足而暂停使用的高校最终也会选择支付高昂费用重新使用。由此可见,中国知网具有很强的价格控制能力,而学校的议价能力较弱。接受国家高额资助的高校尚且如此,其他购买中国知网学术文章检索服务的企业事业单位和个人用户面对中国知网的议价能力更是微乎其微。这表明,中国知网可以决定价格,具有很强的控制相关市场的能力。

3、其他经营者进入该市场的难易程度

为建立和运营中文学术文章数据库,数据库商一般需要投入巨额成本。一方面,文章的收集和整理需要付出巨大的人力、物力和财力,尤其是为获得期刊的授权。另一方面,学术文章的编排和更新,为数据库创设用户界面、设立检索方式,定期对数据库进行检验核实,对文章内容进行检查、更新和校正也需要大量投入。这样的高额成本决定了中文学术文章数据库市场的资金准入门槛非常之高,其他经营者进入该市场相对较难。

综合上述三方面的分析,我们认为中国知网在国内中文学术文章检索服务市场上应具有市场支配地位。

(三)中国知网滥用市场支配地位的行为

1、附加不合理的交易条件

目前很多期刊都通过稿约或版权声明的方式,要求文章作者同意由期刊统一将作品的信息网络传播权出售给中国知网。如《法学研究》期刊在其投稿指南中列明:作者须授权《法学研究》在所投稿件刊发后,将该文的电子版提交学术期刊光盘版和数据库(隶属于中国知网学术文章检索服务)使用。《政治与法律》也在其投稿指南中说明,其已加入《中国学术期刊(光盘版)》和"中国期刊网",作者著作权使用费与本刊稿酬一次性给付。《中国社会科学》也在其投稿须知中强调,投稿者的稿件一经采用,便会在出刊后编入CNKI系列数据库,编入数据库的著作权使用费包含在编辑部所付稿酬之中。

这些版权声明条件苛刻、要求霸道,但其受益人却不是期刊本身,而是期刊的交易相对方中国知网。我们有合理的理由推定,中国知网利用其市场支配地位,在与期刊的协议中要求,期刊的投稿者必须同意由期刊将文章提供给中国知网,编入其学术文章数据库中。期刊为达到上述要求,往往会与文章作者签订有类似规定的稿约或版权声明,但这些声明大都存在主体不平等、措辞模糊、不符合法律规定等问题,其在法律上的效力如何尚未可知。 6中国知网却借助其在学术文章检索服务市场上的支配地位,在与期刊的交易中附加不合理的交易条件,令期刊通过这些法律效力存疑的授权协议,将文章的信息网络传播权转让给中国知网而不用向原作者支付任何报酬。此种行为严重损害了期刊的自由选择权和广大作者的权利,涉嫌构成《反垄断法》第十七条第一款(五)规定的附加不合理的交易条件。

2、以不公平的高价销售商品

中国知网对高校的授权使用费保持每年不低于10%的价格涨幅。2014年中国知网对云南大学的报价更是从40万暴涨至70万 7;2016年3月30日北京大学又因数据库涨价过高而陷入与中国知网的谈判,至今尚未有结果。相对中国知网,同样作为国内知名数据库的维普和万方的价格却仅是中国知网的零头,高校购买十年维普数据库使用权的费用都没有购买中国知网一年使用权的费用高。 8中国知网作为一家数据资源平台,数据的收集、整理、发布需要成本,且其成本也会随着国内通货膨胀和消费水平的提升而增加,为维持正常运行,中国知网向用户收取订购费无可厚非,但每年保持10%甚至更高的价格涨幅,就很难说是为填补成本了。因此,中国知网每年10%的使用费涨幅很有可能构成《反垄断法》第十七条第一款(一)规定的不公平高价行为。

3、以不公平的低价购买商品

中国知网收录的文章,一部分来自其购买了版权的期刊,其余部分则直接来自原作者。对于来自期刊的文章,中国知网并不向文章作者支付费用。对于直接从原作者处收录的优秀硕士学位论文,中国知网向每篇论文的硕士生作者一次性支付60元人民币的现金稿酬和价值300元人民币的"CNKI网络数据库通用检索阅读卡"。而对于直接从原作者处收录的博士学位论文,中国知网向每位博士作者一次性支付100元人民币的现金稿酬和价值400元人民币的"CNKI系列数据库通用检索阅读卡"。 9

上述文章一旦被收录,中国知网便会根据其下载量和阅读量向个人用户收取费用。依据中国知网刊登的流量计费标准表,下载常规数字出版的期刊全文、学位论文和会议论文价格为0.5元/页,下载独家数字出版的期刊全文、学位论文和会议论文则为1元/页。 10硕士论文页数一般在五十页左右,博士论文则达到一两百页甚至更多。这意味着用户每下载一篇常规出版的硕士论文要支付中国知网约25元,下载一篇常规出版的博士论文要支付50-100元。截至2016年5月12日,在中国知网中以"反垄断"为全文关键词检索到的文章中,被下载最多的一篇,其下载量达到20,562次。该篇文章刊载在"宏观经济研究"的期刊上,而该期刊是由中国知网独家出版,因此其下载费用为1元/页。该文共计9页,单次下载费用为9元,20,562次的总下载量可让中国知网获得185,058元的高额收益。虽然下载量中很大一部分来自高校等集体用户,他们每年向中国知网支付订购费,下载文章时便不再付费,但其早已支出的几十万高昂购买费却足以涵盖其用户在一年内下载该篇文章的费用。

由此可见,中文学术文章的下载服务帮中国知网赚取了巨额利润,而文章作者却不能从这些下载量的收入中拿到分毫。他们唯一的报酬是最初期刊支付的费用或是中国知网给予的60元/100元的现金报酬和一张阅读卡,而这些支出却几乎仅相当于文章在中国知网上被下载一次的费用。中国知网的此种行为严重损害了文章作者的权利,涉嫌构成《反垄断法》第十七条第一款(一)规定的不公平低价。

4、差别待遇/价格歧视

2014年中国知网对云南大学的订购费报价从原来的40万涨至70万,涨幅达到75%,这一涨幅远远超过中国知网对国内其他高校的报价。其背后的原因是中国知网认为国家对云南的教育投入增加,云南大学应能够支付该笔费用。 11对同样的数据库产品和同为高校的交易相对方,中国知网却根据对方的财力状况而制定不同的价格,此种行为涉嫌构成《反垄断法》第十七条第一款(六)规定的差别待遇。

5、独家交易

自2008年起,数据库(中国知网、万方、维普等)开始争夺学术出版资源,纷纷与期刊签订独家授权协议,以保证这些期刊文章只能在自己的数据库上独家发布,从而垄断数据资源。截至目前,中国知网已签下1698种独家期刊,万方和维普也独揽几百种期刊。

通过此种独家授权协议,中国知网可以获得众多独家资源,形成独特优势,益于在市场竞争中立于不败之地。但签订了独家授权协议的期刊却面临丧失客户的困境。所有期刊都希望自己能被更多学者阅读和引用,但由于与中国知网签订独家授权协议,导致其他数据库不可能收录该期刊,从而致使该期刊丧失订购其他数据库的用户,而这些用户在阅读和引用中便会漏掉该期刊上的文章,进而造成这些期刊的被引率下降。这在目前主要以被引指标来评价期刊的评价体系内,容易让期刊受到伤害,长此以往,将使这些期刊在评价中处于不利的困境。 12面对这样的风险,期刊应不会主动选择与中国知网订立独家授权协议,因此我们有理由怀疑独家授权协议应是在中国知网的强迫下签订的。综上所述,中国知网借助其市场地位强制期刊与其进行独家交易,实施了《反垄断法》第十七条第一款(四)所列"没有正当理由,限定交易相对人只能与其进行交易或者只能与其指定的经营者进行交易"的行为。

二、国家新闻出版广电总局或构成行政性垄断

中国知网官网上有"我国唯一经国家批准正式出版博士学位论文的学术电子期刊"的标语,意即国家新闻出版广电总局明确指定中国知网作为唯一能够出版博士学位论文的学术电子期刊。笔者未在新闻出版广电总局的官网等资料中找到其批准的标准和要求,我们有理由怀疑,国家新闻出版广电总局很可能利用其行政权力,直接指定中国知网为独家的出版博士学位论文的学术电子期刊。

除中国知网外,中文学术文章检索服务市场上还有万方、维普等竞争者,它们作为成熟的数据库,现均能提供文章检索、论文检测或期刊的统计分析与评价等服务,应足够具备将博士学位论文进行电子出版的资质和技术水平。同时,博士论文作为一种很重要的学术资源,理应得到广泛传播,而国家新闻出版广电总局作为"行政机关和法律、法规授权的具有管理公共事务职能的组织",却直接指定中国知网为博士学位论文的独家出版电子期刊,限制了博士学位论文的出版与传播。该行为涉嫌构成《反垄断法》第三十二条规定的"限定或者变相限定单位或者个人经营、购买、使用其指定的经营者提供的商品"。

三、中国知网垄断行为造成的危害后果

(一)严重损害消费者福利

反垄断法通过维护公平的竞争环境,促使企业不断创新,从而降低生产和销售成本,源源不断地给消费者提供物美价廉的产品和服务,使得消费者可以及时分享技术进步所带来的便利与舒适,提高生活质量,这便是反垄断法保护消费者福利所追求的最根本的社会目标。 13

中国知网的中文学术文章检索服务的用户数量众多,包括4000多万的在校大学生 14、6300万的科研人员 15、800多万16的公务员,除此之外,还有数以亿计的公司职员。面对如此庞大的消费者群体,中国知网的垄断高价大大增加了他们的经济负担,让他们无法享受物美价廉的产品和服务,无法分享中文学术文章检索服务市场的技术进步所带来的便利,提高了整个社会获取知识的成本,严重损害了消费者福利。

(二)不利于技术进步

中国知网在国内中文学术文章检索服务市场上的强大垄断优势,只会让其忽视数据库质量的提升,不利于加强技术开发和提升服务质量,最终阻碍整个数据库市场的技术进步。

(三)不利于社会公共利益和经济发展

中国知网在国内中文学术文章检索服务市场上形成垄断,坐地涨价,高昂的价格限制了用户的选择和使用,从而制约学术成果的广泛传播,不利于社会公共利益的实现。同时,有研究表明,信息传播效率对经济发展有正向促进作用。 17因此中国知网的垄断行为对信息传播的阻碍,也必然会对经济发展产生不利影响。

四、结语

背负着涉嫌滥用市场支配地位和行政性垄断双重指控的中国知网,很可能会在不久的将来,因其竞争者或广大用户的举报或反垄断执法机构的主动介入而被启动反垄断调查,亦或被无数被迫将论文无偿或廉价许可给中国知网的作者、诸多因逆天的高价使用费而不堪重负的用户提起反垄断民事诉讼。不知财大气粗的中国知网面对这些指控是否能够依旧面不改色。虽然北京大学与中国知网的谈判结果尚未可知,但我们相信面对中国知网这种种垄断行为,没有人会继续沉默和忍受。就让我们拭目以待,谁将会打响"战知网"的第一枪。

(本文系大成反垄断团队的实习生在邓志松律师指导下完成,团队其他成员律师亦有贡献;请业内贤达不吝赐教,大成反垄断团队同时声明保留全部版权。)

参考文献:

[1] 数据来源:http://acad.cnki.net/Kns55/oldnavi/n_Navi.aspx?NaviID=2&Flg

[2] http://tech.163.com/16/0407/12/BK22HK4000094O5H.html

[3] http://money.163.com/16/0411/15/BKCOM395002526O3.html

[4] 注:中国知网对高校的授权采取整体销售的模式,将学术文章、数字图书等打包销售给高校,其整体的价格涨幅保持10%,相当于学术文章数据库和数字图书等其他服务的价格各自上涨10%。

[5] http://money.163.com/16/0411/15/BKCOM395002526O3.html

[6] 罗向京:"知网一再涨价,作者权益何在?"《新京报》2016年4月13日刊。

[7] http://tech.163.com/16/0407/12/BK22HK4000094O5H.html

[8] http://money.163.com/16/0411/15/BKCOM395002526O3.html

[9] 数据来源:http://www.cnki.net/other/gonggao/bqsm.htm

[10] 数据来源:http://vipcard.cnki.net/ec/czzx/account/account.html

[11] http://news.cyol.com/content/2016-04/12/content_12408296.htm

[12] 苏新宁:"'独家协议'不利于学术交流",《光明日报》2011年第5版,页码1。

[13] 罗静:"论反垄断法中的消费者福利保护——以知识经济为背景",《消费经济》2008年第13期,页码80。

[14] 数据来源:http://www.sundxs.com/baike/10739.html

[15] 数据来源:http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-worldlook-1248014-1.shtml

[16] 数据来源:http://mt.sohu.com/20160511/n448870274.shtml

[17] 张晓群:"传播效率与经济增长",《社会科学文献出版社》2009年,页码187。

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