Copyright in China

Dan Xu

Dan Xu is a partner and is in charge of the firm’s Intellectual Property & Data Compliance practice. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Eastern China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai, and a master’s degree from Leiden University (the Netherlands). Dan passed the China Bar examination in 2012. Prior to joining DaWo Law Firm, Dan worked at the China Desk of a Dutch law firm in Rotterdam and at De Wolf Law Firm Shanghai.

On February 5, 2021 The National Copyright Administration of the People’s Republic of China (NCAC) released a list with 10 so-called “major events in copyright” in China in 2020. The list is as followed:

1.The legal framework has improved further by:
-The new Civil Code which includes many provisions on copyright.
-The 3rd amendment to the Copyright Law, with amendments related to copyright ownership, subject matters, administrative bodies and copyright protection.
-Amendment 11 of the Criminal Law, which increases the maximum sentencing term for copyright infringement crimes (under some circumstances) from 7 to 10 years.

2.The Beijing Treaty on audiovisual performance came into force. This treaty deals with the intellectual property rights of performers in audiovisual performances.

3.The Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate issued a series of judicial interpretations and documents relating to copyright. Examples are opinions on ‘Comprehensively Strengthening the judicial protection of intellectual property rights’ and guiding opinions on the trial of civil lawsuits involving the intellectual property rights of e-commerce platforms.

4.The NCAC strengthened the administrative law enforcement by issuing the “Notice on Regulating the Order of Copyright in Photographic Works” and the “Notice on Further Improving the Examination and Determination of Evidence for Copyright Administrative Enforcement”.

5.During the “Jianwang 2020″ special action, which focuses on Internet Piracy, the first trial case of “ghost machine”, was decided, effectively punishing the ones involved in illegally recording cinema movies.

6.The results of the 2020 China Copyright gold award were announced. The China Copyright gold award is the highest award in the Chinese copyright industry, and aims to encourage companies or individuals who have made outstanding contributions to for example the protection of copyrights.

7.The Beijing Higher People’s Court made a retrial judgement in a copyright case of sports events. The retrial decision of this case reflects the People’s Court’s attitude towards the copyright issues on sports events, and will have a big impact on the booming sports industry.

8.The Chinese copyright industry is developing rapidly and the share of the copyright industry in the national economy is steadily increasing. The Chinese Academy of Publication Research reported in 2020 that the added value of China’s copyright industry in 2019 was 7.32 trillion yuan (7.39% of GDP).

9.Last December, nearly 300 people, well-known in film and television, and online writers jointly issued an open letter, calling on the media to resist plagiarism and protect the legitimate intellectual property rights and interest, causing widespread public discussion and raising awareness on respecting copyright.

10.January 2020, the China Audio Video Copyright Association and others jointly issued the implementation plan “Implementation Plan for Copyright Licensing Business in Song and Dance Entertainment Industry” to improve copyright licensing and fee allocations in the karaoke industry.

Our team of lawyers specialized in intellectual property law will keep you updated on this topic. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.