A Brief Explanation concerning the “Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China” (Revision Draft)

At the end of March, the National Copyright Administration published a draft for the upcoming revision of the Copyright Law. It also issued an accompanying explanation as to which changes were made in the Copyright Law and why. Mainly, these changes are to be found in consolidating the copyright law regime, by including a number of provisions which were present only in administrative regulations; bringing the law in line with the WIPO treaties to which China acceded in 2007; instituting new requirements on copyright-related contract registration; and expanding the role of collective copyright management organizations. Also, the draft provides a safe haven for technological network service providers.

I, The basic situation of our country’s copyright law

The basic framework of our country’s copyright legal system is composed of laws, administrative regulations, local regulations, departmental rules, local government rules, normative documents, judicial interpretation, as well as corresponding international treaties, etc. After 20 years of efforts, our country has shaped a relatively complete copyright law system. In this, the “Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China” (hereafter simply named “Copyright Law” is the most important and most basic law in our country’s copyright legal system, and has a commanding function in standardizing copyright activities. According to corresponding provisions of the “Copyright Law”, the State Council has respectively formulated the “Regulations on the Implementation of International Copyright Treaties” (promulgated on 25 September 1992, took effect on 30 September 1992), the “Computer Software Protection Regulations” (promulgated on 20 December 2001, took effect on 1 January 2002), the “Implementation Regulations for the Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China” (promulgated on 2 August 2002, took effect on 15 September 2002), the “Collective Copyright Management Regulations” (promulgated on 28 December 2004, implemented on 1 March 2005), the “Information Network Dissemination Right Protection Regulations” (promulgated on 18 May 2006, took effect on 1 July 206), the “”Provisional Radio and Television Station Broadcasting Audio Recording Remuneration Payment Rules” (promulgated on 11 November 2009, implemented on 1 January 2010). The above “one laws and six regulations” (meaning one Law, and six administrative regulations” is the basic content of our country’s copyright law system. Furthermore, provisions have been made in the “Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China” concerning the question of criminal copyright infringement, the State Council administrative copyright management department has formulated 9 administrative regulations and 44 normative documents, corresponding judicial departments interpreting the “Copyright Law” have formulated 6 judicial interpretations or guiding opinions on concrete application questions in civil and criminal judicial practice, a number of provincial, autonomous region and municipal People’s Congress Committees of governments have formulated local regulations or local government rules on the basis of the local situation. At the international treaty level, at present, our country has respectively acceded to 6 international copyright treaties: the “Berne Convention on the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works”, the “World Copyright Treaty”, the “Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms”, the World Trade Organization “Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights”, the “WIPO Copyright Treaty” as well as the “WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty”.

Our country’s “Copyright Law” was passed on 7 September 1990 at the 15th meeting of the 7th National People’s Congress, and officially took effect on 1 June 1991. On 27 October 2001, in order to perfect our country’s copyright legal system, stimulate the flourishing and development of the economy, science and technology, and culture, and to adapt to the process of our country’s accession to the World Trade organization, the 24th meeting of the 9th National People’s Congress passed the “Decision concerning Revising the ‘Copyright Law of the People’ Republic of China’”, which revised the 1990 “Copyright Law”. After the revision, the “Copyright Law” changed from the original six chapters and 56 articles into 6 chapters and 60 articles. On 26 February 2010, in order to further perfect our country’s copyright legal system, and in order to realize the requirements of implementing the ruling of the World Trade Organization Sino-US intellectual property rights dispute, the 13th meeting of the 11th National People’s Congress passed the “Decision concerning Revising the ‘Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China’”, which took effect on 1 April 2010. This revision involved two articles, the “Copyright Law” in total having six chapters and 61 articles after revision.

The abovementioned two revisions to the “Copyright Law” are both related with the World Trade Organization, the first revision was to satisfy the direct requirements for World Trade Organization accession, and the second revision was to realize the requirements of implementing the World Trade Organization’s ruling in the Sino-US intellectual property rights dispute. Because of this, these two revisions of the “Copyright Law” have the characteristics of passivity and partiality, and have not made active and complete adjustment of the “Copyright Law” adapted to realizing the requirements of our country’s economic and social development and technological progress.

II, The necessity of revising the “Copyright Law”

Since entering the new century, the knowledge economy has deeply developed, the progress of economic globalization has clearly accelerated, high and new technology represented by information technology changes everyday, and the function of intelligence and creativity in material production and cultural production is ever larger, intellectual property rights, including copyright become more of a strategic resource and core factor in international competitiveness every day. The Party Centre and the State Council put forward that, under new circumstances, it is necessary to raise indigenous innovation capacity to become a central segment in adjusting economic structures and transforming economic growth models, and indigenous innovation capacity construction is inseparable from intellectual property rights system guarantees. The 17th Party Congress clearly put forward the strategic objective of ‘raising indigenous innovation capacity, constructing an innovative country”; accordingly, the State Council promulgated the “National Intellectual Property Rights Strategy Outline” in June 2008, making intellectual property rights into a national development strategy to move forward. After some years of effort, the position of intellectual property rights work in the larger picture of the entire Party and country work has been further elevated. As a basic intellectual property rights law, the revision of the “Copyright Law” perfects the basic change of implementing the scientific development view and promoting economic development methods; raises our country’s levels of creation, utilization, protection and management, implementing the national intellectual property rights strategy outline; it provides legal guarantees for stimulating the grand development and grand flourishing of Socialist culture, implementing the spirit of the 6th Plenum of the 17th Party Congress, and has a major significance in further moving opening up to the outside world forward, making our country enter into and participate in international competition even more broadly and deeply, and raising the country’s international influence, without wasting any time.

(1) Revising the “Copyright Law” is an objective requirement for perfecting the present system

As it was the first “Copyright Law” of the new China, during the drafting period in the Eighties of the previous century, our country was still in the period of the planned economy, and lacked native legislation experience, because of this, this law inevitably had the mark of the planned economy. Although there were two revisions after this, as indicated earlier, these two revisions were not indigenous or complete, and did not resolve the real problems of our country’s economic and social development, and especially those faced by social transformation and economic shifting, very well. Because of this, completely revising the “Copyright Law” is an objective requirement for adapting to our country’s economic and social development.

(2) Revising the “Copyright Law” is an objective requirement for responding to science and technology development

In the 21st century, humanity has already entered the age of the knowledge economy, and future global competition will be mainly reflected in intellectual property rights competition. Following the swift development of high and new technology, and especially of digital technology and network technology, our country’s copyright protection faces enormous changes that have occurred in the real environment. The trends of swift development of science and technology and incessant change of the social environment, extremely prominently conflicts with the comparative stability of the copyright legal system, the copyright legal system has encountered with severe challenges. In order to adapt to new circumstances and new situations, legal revision work must be timely and completely moved forward.

(3) Revising the “Copyright Law” is an objective requirement in adapting to international circumstances

Following the deep development of economic globalization and global integration, all countries and regions of the world have incessantly perfected copyright laws, international copyright protection rules are in continuous adjustment. Because of the different development stages, the divergence between developed countries and developing countries in the copyright sphere will exist for a long time, and all sides are vigorously vying for the initiative in international copyright rule adjustment in order to safeguard their economic interest and international competitiveness. The international copyright protection environment faced by our country is ever more grim. In order to adapt to the new international circumstances and safeguard the national interest, legal revision work must be timely and completely moved forward.

(4) Revising the “Copyright Law” is an objective requirement for perfecting the intellectual property rights system

In the intellectual property rights sphere, the social relationships of copyright adjustment are much more complex, the contradictions more prominent and the problems more in number, in comparison with the “Patent Law” and the “Trademark Law”, and it is the law that is subject to the largest influence of technological progress and social development. At present, the third revision of the “Patent Law” has been completed, and the third revision of the “Trademark Law” has already entered into the State Council examination phase. The legal revision work of the “Copyright Law” is lagging by comparison. In order to further perfect our country’s intellectual property rights legal system, legal revision work must be timely and completely moved forward.

(5) Revising the “Copyright Law” is an objective requirement for responding to the concerns of all walks of society

In recent years, following the our country’s economic and social development, and especially the swift development and broad utilization of high and new technology, revising the “Copyright Law” has become a major concern in the intellectual property rights sphere for all walks of society. These appeals do not only come from judicial, administrative, education and scientific research departments, even more come from copyright holders and the industrial world. Every year during the “two meetings” period, the National People’s Congress and the People’s Political Consultative Conference put forward large quantities of opinions, motions and proposals concerning revising the “Copyright Law”. Because of this, in order to respond to the concerns of all walks of society, legal revision work must be timely and completely moved forward.

III, The basic line of thought for “Copyright Law” revision.

According to our country’s present legislative system, the National Copyright Administration undertakes basic work in the process of this “Copyright Law” revision of preparing and drafting a revision draft. After comprehensive consideration and weighing of elements from all sides, we decided that the basic line of thought for this legal revision is: persisting in one concept, following three principles, pursuing three effects.

What is called “persisting in one concept”, means persisting in the concept of pooling wisdom to resolve problems. Pooling wisdom means that when beginning legislation, and in the process of law revision, it is necessary to broadly and fully hear the opinions from all walks of society, and guarantee  the openness and transparency of legal revision work at the mechanism level; resolving problems means that it is necessary to start from reality, find out problems, look for problems, deeply analyze them, repeatedly expound them, and fix eyes on resolving the prominent problems in reality.

What is called “following thee principles” means following the principles of independence, balance and internationalism. The principle of independence means that it is necessary to be based on China’s national circumstances, reflect Chinese characteristics, integrate the Chinese reality and resolve Chinese problems. At present, our country’s copyright legal system faces a series of complex domestic and international environments of the consciousness of rights holders being widespread and raised, copyright-related industries growing quickly, high and new technology developing swiftly, the acceleration of our country’s social transformation process, the daily increase of pressure domestically and abroad, etc. This legal revision must start from the Chinese reality, take root in and not exceed or be separated from these basic national conditions. We are willing to learn from the successful experiences of other countries or regions in copyright legislation aspects, but must stress the real national circumstances and real needs of China even more.

The principle of balance means that it is necessary to appropriately deal with the basic balance between the interests of creators, disseminators and the social masses. The copyright legal system is basic law in adjusting the relationship chain between the interests of creation, dissemination and consumption, which means that it is necessary to protect creation and encourage dissemination, and must also stimulate consumption and satisfy the knowledge and culture requirements of the broad masses. The revision of the “Copyright Law” must closely grasp balancing of interests, this basic spirit of modern copyright legislation, and earnestly evaluate whether or not the interest balancing mechanism of our country’s present “Copyright Law” is appropriate, whether or not it is feasible in practice, and whether or not it fully combines the rights and interests of all related sides. It is necessary to fully understand the characteristics of copyright protection balancing trends under the present technological conditions, absorb useful historical experiences, broadly hear and deeply research the appeals of interests from all sides, and appropriately deal with the relationship between copyright protection and guaranteeing dissemination, it is necessary to both protect copyright according to the law, and stimulate dissemination and use, giving rein to the social effect of knowledge products.

The principle of internationalism means to move legal revision work forward from international copyright system adjustment change trends and raising the international image of us as a large responsible country. It is necessary to earnestly search for differences between our country’s current “Copyright Law” and the international treaties to which our country acceded, making our country’s “Copyright Law” conform to the provisions of corresponding international treaties; it is necessary to closely follow and pay attention to discussions in international organizations concerning treaties related to copyright, grasp their development orientation, and internalize them into domestic law at the right time, it is necessary to carefully analyze and research copyright legal system development trends in all important countries, absorb, attract, transform and use them, and strengthen internationalized common understandings.

What is called “pursuing three effects” means pursuing the effects of high efficiency, high quality and high levels. High efficiency means that it is necessary to strive to complete legal revision work in the shortest possible time with a spirit of making good use of time. The key of high efficiency means resolving organizational guarantee, communication and coordination problems. High quality means that it is necessary to stress the applicability of the law, to be able to resolve prominent problems encountered  at present in our country’s copyright protection, and to make copyright law reach a new platform of quality through untiring effort. The key of high quality is that it is necessary to look for problems existing in copyright law at present, and on the basis of broadly hearing opinions from all walks of society and hearing them, producing methods for resolving problems. High level means that it is necessary to appropriately look forward, and it is necessary to have a correct judgement of international and domestic economic, social, scientific and technology development trends, making legal revision work face modernization, face the world, and face the future, and making due contributions to the further perfection of the international intellectual property rights system

IV, The basic process of “Copyright Law” revision

According to the State Council leading memo and the State Council legislative work plan for 2011, “Copyright Law” revision work is listed in the third rank of the State Council legislative work plan for that year, programmes that must be vigorously researched and elaborated. On 15 July 2011, the National Copyright Department called together corresponding departments and exports, and organized the “3rd “Copyright Law” Revision Starting Conference and Expert Engagement Ceremony” in Beijing, symbolizing the official start of the work on the 3rd revision of the “Copyright Law”.

In order to move legal revision work forward smoothly, the National Copyright Administration has especially established to “National Copyright Administration “Copyright Law” Revision Work Leading Small Group” (hereafter simply named the leading small group) and the “National Copyright Administration “Copyright Law” Revision Work Expert Committee” (hereafter simply named expert committee), General Administration of Press and Publications director and National Copyright Administration Director Comrade Liu Binjie has assumed the office of head of the leading small group, and members come from the Central Propaganda Department, the National People’s Congress Education, Science, Culture and Hygiene Committee, the Supreme People’s Court, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Culture, SRFT, the State Council Information Office as well as the China Writer’s Association, etc; the expert committee is composed of 30 people, members come from all corresponding departments, rights holders’ organizations, the industrial world, the practice world, social groups as well as scientific research institutes, etc.

In order to broadly hear opinions and suggestions from all walks of society, the National Copyright Administration issued a notice in the beginning of July 2011, inviting nearly 200 work units and individuals from all walks of society including administrative organs, People’s Courts, social groups, scientific research organs, the industry world, expert scholars, etc., to put forward opinions concerning the “Copyright Law” revision work. At the same time, in order to guarantee legal revision work quality, the National Copyright Administration specially entrusted the education and scientific research work units (the Renmin University of China Intellectual Property Rights Research Institute, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Legal Studies Department Intellectual Property Rights Research Centre and the Zhongnan University of Finance, Economics, Politics and Law Intellectual Property Rights Research Centre) with a relatively large influence in the area of copyright to draft expert proposal drafts for “Copyright Law” revision. On 31 December 2011, the three drafting work units submitted their “Copyright Law” revision expert proposal drafts on time. On 13 January 2012, the National Copyright Administration convened the members of the expert committee and corresponding legislative departments to organize the first meeting of the expert committee in Beijing, the tree expert proposal draft work units reported on the drafting work situation, and the participating experts were invited to discuss them.

On 1 February 2012, the State Council Secretariat promulgated the “Notice Concerning Printing and Issuing the State Council Legislative Work Plan for 2012″ (GBF No. [2012]12), in which the “Copyright Law” revision was raised from the third rank to the second rank: programmes of which work needs to be grasped, and which must be put forward at a suitable time. General Administration of Press and Publications director and National Copyright Administration Director Comrade Liu Binjie clearly required the acceleration of moving legal revision work forward, and to complete the earlier elaboration and drafting tasks as soon as possible. According to this new situation, in early February 2012, the National Copyright Administration began to set to drafting the “Copyright Law” revision draft. In the later part of February 2012, the preliminary drafting work was completed, and the text of the “Copyright Law” revision draft was formed. Soon afterwards, the National Copyright Administration speedily conducted small-scale internal opinion seeking concerning this draft. On 19 March 2012, the National Copyright Administration convened the expert committee members and corresponding departments to organize the second expert committee meeting, to conduct discussion of the draft. According to the opinions and suggestions of the experts, the National Copyright Administration conducted many revisions of the draft, and the present text was ultimately shaped.

V, The main method and content of “Copyright Law” revision

Based on the basic line of thought described above, the main methods we adopted in this revision process are: (1) general issues that are at present stipulated in administrative regulations and should be stipulated in copyright law are raised into the law – this mainly is content from three administrative regulations, the “Copyright Law Implementation Regulations”, the “Computer Software Protection Regulations” and the “Information Network Dissemination Right Protection Regulations, such as the time at which copyright comes into being, the “three-step test”, technological protection measures and rights management information, etc.; (2) on the basis of basic requirements of international treaties, necessary content has been added to the copyright law, making it consistent with corresponding international treaties – such as the author’s rental rights, performers’ rental rights, technological protection measures and rights management information, etc.; (3) provisions corresponding judicial interpretations which have proved to be effective in practice are brought into the law – such as copyright and related right registration, the use of entrusted works, etc.; (4) content that the business world repeatedly appealed for and is urgently required in practice, and on which a consensus was reached during the preliminary opinion-seeking process was written into the law – such as collective copyright management organizations’ extended collective management, applied artworks, the definition of information network dissemination rights and broadcasting rights, entitlement of audiovisual works, entitlement of professional work, exclusive copyright licensing and transferring of registration, administrative mediation of copyright disputes, etc.

The main content of this legal revision can be briefly explained as follows;

(1) Concerning the structure and layout of the chapters

Our country’s current “Copyright Law” in total has six chapters and 61 articles. According to the basic situation of more than 20 years of “Copyright Law” implementation, considering our chapter structures and layout of country’s other intellectual property rights laws, and at the same time learning from the copyright laws of other countries and regions worldwide, we adjusted the chapter structure and layout of the draft, the draft in total has eight chapters and 88 articles, the content of the main revisions is: the first chapter, general provisions, is preserved unchanged; in the second chapter, copyright, the section on “limitations to rights” is deleted; the current law’s fourth chapter, “publishing, performance, audio and video recording and broadcast” is brought forward to chapter three after deletion of content on licensing, use, etc., and the name is changed into “related rights”, in the current law’s second chapter, the section on “limitations to rights” is listed as Chapter IV, the reason being that the limitations of rights relate both toe copyright and to related rights, and it is impossible for the chapter on copyright to include this completely; the third chapter of the current law, “Copyright licensing, use and transfer contracts” is changed into “use of rights” and becomes the fifth chapter; technological protection measures and rights management information’s are listed by themselves in the sixth chapter, the reason being that other chapters cannot contain its content; the current law’s fifth chapter “legal responsibility and law enforcement measures” is changed into “rights protection” and becomes the seventh chapter; Chapter VIII, on supplementary provisions is preserved unchanged.

(2) Concerning works

A definition of works is added to the draft, and the definitions of all concrete categories of work in the “Copyright Law Implementation Regulations” are raised into the law. In comparison with the current “Copyright Law”, the main differences are: (1) “film works and works created in a manner similar to film production” is revised into “audiovisual works”, which is in relatively widespread use in international society, at the same time, the provisions on “video products” in the part on related rights is deleted, the main reason being  that the description of audiovisual products is more concise, and it is not common to have video products as one single object of related rights in legislation, in the majority of circumstances, video works can be considered as “audiovisual works” for protection; (2) provisions concerning applied artworks are added. Our country’s current “Copyright Law” contains no provisions on applied artworks, but in the “Regulations on the Implementation of International Copyright Treaties” contained protective regulations for 25 years. This sort of provision on super-national treatment has been called into question for a long time by the academic world and the practitioning world, and there is no uniform understanding about whether applied artworks of our country’s citizens are to be protected as fine art works or are not protected. Because of this, the draft lists applied artworks as a single category of works to be protected, according to the provisions of the “Berne Convention”, of which the term of protection is 25 years. (3) computer software is changed into computer programmes, the main reason being that files may be directly protected as literary works, and do not require special provisions

(3) Concerning the registration of copyright and related rights

The principle of “automatic protection” applies to the creation of copyright and related rights, and there is no requirement to implement any formality. But in practice, two aspects exist in which applying the principle of “automatic protection” is insufficient when copyright and related rights act as intangible property: first is that if the state of the right is unclear, it does not beneficial to the rights holder, especially when it concerns copyright holders of unpublished or anonymous works exercising their rights; second is if it is hard for trading partners to determine the state of the rights, it does not benefit market trading, and overly large trading risks or overly high trading costs may inhibit the flourishing and development of the trading market. In order to effectively resolve these questions, many countries and regions have successively established copyright registration systems. These systems do not influence the application of the “automatic protection” principle, and have a preliminary evidence function for rights holders enjoying copyright, and are important systematic guarantees guaranteeing copyright trade security, reducing copyright trade costs, and lowering copyright law risks. As far back as December 1994, our country’s National Copyright Administration formulated the “Trial Rules on Voluntary Registration of Works”. 17 years later, work registration systems have made beneficial explorations and trials in stimulating the development of copyright-related industries, and promoting the development and flourishing of Socialist literature, art and science undertakings. The establishment of work registration systems has not only gained the welcome and approval of copyright holders, cultural dissemination enterprises as well as the industry world, it has also been affirmed by all levels’ judicial organs and administrative law enforcement organs. For example, the Supreme People’s Court “Supreme People’s Court Interpretation Concerning Some Issues on Application of Law in Correctly Hearing Civil Copyright Cases”, the General Administration of Customs “Implementation Rules Concerning ‘Intellectual Property Rights Customs Protection Regulations of the People’s Republic of China’”, etc., have all clarified the provisions on the legal position of work registration certificates, and in the practice of public security organs’ handling of criminal copyright infringement cases, work registration certificates are important evidence in proving the rights of rights holders. Because of this, the draft starts from our country’s national conditions, learns from the methods of international society, refers to the provisions of the “Computer Software Protection Regulations”, and has clarified issues such as the legal basis, the legal effect of registration documents as well as fee standards of copyright and related right registration systems.

(4) Concerning copyright content

The draft draws a clear distinction between the personal rights and the property rights in copyright. The main reason being textual conciseness, in later texts, it is permitted to replace the wording of Article *, Paragraph (*) to (*) of this Law in the current “Copyright Law” with property rights in copyright.

The draft has adjusted the personal rights: (1) revising the definition of the rights to signing and alteration – the right to decide whether or not the identity of the writer is displayed and how to display the identity of the writer, the main reason being that the provisions on “signing the work” in the current law is only one way to indicate the writer; (2) concerning the right of revision, in the process of opinion-seeking, the majority opinion is that the right of revision and the right to protect the integrity of the work are two aspects of the same right, and it is suggested to lean from the provisions of the copyright laws of Japan, Germany, etc. To this end, the draft deletes the right of revision and brings it into the right to protect the integrity of the work, reducing the personal rights of copyright to three: the right to publish, the right to sign a name and the right to protect the integrity of the work.

The draft has adjusted the property rights: (1) the right of reproduction has been revised to include any form of digitalization; (2) other means of transferring proprietary rights have been added the right of distribution; (3) according to the provisions of Article 7 of the “WIPO Copyright Treaty”, audio products have been added to the objects of rental rights (4) content broadcast through cable has been added to transmission rights, and at the same time, in order to avoid confusion with broadcast, its name is changed from broadcasting rights to transmission rights; (5) information network dissemination rights are expanded from the interactive manner to means such as live broadcast, relaying, etc., in order to resolve problems put forward in practice on fixed time transmission and relaying, etc; (6) considering that in reality, the right of compilation may be controlled by the right to reproduction, the right to compilation is deleted; (7) considering the current fast growth and huge scale of our country’s’ artwork market, provisions on the right of pursuit have been added; (8) the right of revision in the “Computer Software Protection Regulations” concerning computer programmes is moved into this Law. Furthermore, considering that the content of the information network dissemination right and the right of pursuit is relatively complex, the State Council is authorized to make separate provisions.

(5) Concerning copyright entitlement

The draft adjusts the copyright entitlement: (1) concerning works of legal persons, it adds the condition of investment by legal persons or other organizations, and published under the name of by legal persons, other organizations or their representatives, making legal persons’ works more clear, and easier to determine in practice; (2) concerning cooperative works, the right of action has been added to creators of cooperative works, ensuring that any creator of a cooperative work may raise a lawsuit concerning the complete cooperative work, but at the same time, it provides that compensation obtained by them shall be appropriately distributed or allocated to the other cooperative creators; (3) concerning audiovisual works, the entitlement of copyright over audiovisual works has been revised, and provisions that copyright over audiovisual works should first be agreed upon in contracts are added, if there is no contract, they revert to the producer, but creators such as playwrights, lyrics writers, composers, etc.,  enjoy the right to remuneration over the later use of the work; (4) concerning professional works, in comparison with the current “Copyright Law”, the draft simplified the regulations on copyright entitlement of professional works, so that first and foremost the parties are to agree upon them in contract, if there is no contract, they revert to the employee, and the work unit may use it free of charge in their scope of business, but the copyright of works such as engineering design drawings, product design drawings, etc., reverts to the work unit, and the employee enjoys the right to sign a name.

(6) Concerning “orphan works”

What is called “orphan works” refers to works of which the identity of the creator is unclear or, although the identity of the creator is clear, they are not to be found. In recent years, in the wake of the development of digital network technology, the use of this category of works is a focus discussion point at the global level, especially following the moving forward of the Google Company’s “Digital Book Library Plan”, the United States, Europe, etc. have discussed this extremely intensely. In order to respond to technological development and the renewal of commercial models, exploratory principle provisions have been made in the draft concerning “orphan works”, and users may apply with the State Council administrative copyright management department, and use the works after depositing a use fee. Concerning concrete examination, approval and management work, the draft provides that the State Council administrative copyright management departments will make separate regulations.

(7) Concerning the rental rights of performers

The rental rights of performers are provided in Article 9 of the “WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty”, when our country acceded to this treaty in 2007, there were no regulations in domestic law on the rental rights of performers, this right has always continuously been a difference between our country’s “Copyright Law” and the said international treaty. Because of this, the draft added provisions on performers’ rental rights, making our country’s “Copyright Law” consistent with the said international treaty.

(8) Concerning the rights of audiovisual performers

In June 2012, the World Intellectual Property Organization will hold a diplomatic conference in Beijing concerning concluding an audiovisual performers’ rights treaty. Because of this, our country’s government should hold a positive attitude concerning the rights of audiovisual performers as well as the said treaty. Based on this sort of consideration, in this legal revision, the draft has drawn lessons from Article 12 of this treaty (draft text), and stipulated that audiovisual performers enjoy the right to entitlement of audiovisual work as agreed upon in contract, if there is no contract, it reverts to the producers, but the performers enjoy the right to obtain remuneration from later use of their performances.

(9) Concerning the transmission rights of performers and record producers

In 2007, when our country acceded to the “WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty”, a reservation was made concerning its Article 15. This article concerns performers and record producers enjoying the right to obtain remuneration from other persons’ transmitting or disseminating to the public of audio works. In recent years, the music industry represented by record companies has strongly appealed for transmission rights and performance rights concerning record producers to be added to our country’s “Copyright Law”, the reason being that following the development of digital technology and network technology, the record world’s traditional commercial model of distributing tangible records is close to dying out, because of this, granting transmission rights to record producers is an urgent requirement for the music industry’s sustainable development. The draft has added provisions concerning performers and record producers’ right to obtain remuneration, making our country’s “Copyright Law” consistent with the corresponding international treaty.

(10) Concerning radio stations and television stations

In the part on the rights of radio stations and television stations, apart from relaying being expanded into the two methods of wireless and cable, the draft has also added that radio stations and television stations have the right to prohibit other persons from relaying their radio and television programmes using network means, the main reason being that at present, the problem of other persons relaying radio and television programmes through networks is relatively prominent in practice, if the law does not make clear provisions, there is no way to deal with this in practice, but as to the information network distribution right, considering that the present “WIPO Broadcast Organization Treaty” is still under discussion, no final conclusion is made yet, because of this, no provisions have been made in the draft.

(11) Concerning computer programme reverse-engineering

Computer programme reverse engineering is an essential segment of computer programme compatibility, and for many years, this question has not been reasonably resolved. The draft has drawn lessons from methods in copyright laws of Europe and Germany, and clearly provided that the lawfully licensed users of computer programmes may reproduce and translate that programme’s compatibility information, but at the same time, it is provided that they may not use that information for other objectives or infringing activities.

(12) Concerning statutory copyright licensing systems

Our country’s current “Copyright Law” has provided for five sorts of statutory copyright licensing systems: textbook compilation and publishing, periodical reprinting, audio production, radio and television station broadcast, etc. The statutory copyright licensing system allows other persons to use works and not obtain permission from the rights holder, and is essentially a limit to the rights of the rights holder. If the right to remuneration of the rights holder cannot be guaranteed, this system as a matter of fact may become an expropriation of the rights holder’s rights. But from the 20 years of practice of statutory copyright licences, it can be seen that there are no rights holders implementing their duty to pay remuneration, and it also rarely happens that users bear civil responsibility for failing in their duty to pay remuneration, and the rights of rights holders have not been realistically guaranteed, and legal provisions exist in name only. During the process of soliciting opinions for the legal revision, in view of the real effects of this system, some experts suggested to cancel the statutory licensing system. After analysis, we are of the opinion that the value orientation of the statutory copyright licensing system and its systemic function conform to our country’s basic national circumstances (such as textbooks using works), and the present reasons why this system is not successful are located in deficiencies of the remuneration payment mechanisms and the legal relief mechanisms. Because of this, the draft has adjusted and perfected this by stressing two aspects, it has added provisions concerning the duty that statutory licences have to be filed in advance, timely remuneration payment through collective copyright management organizations and indication of source, etc., also, when users do not timely implement the abovementioned duties, administrative copyright management organs may impose administrative punishment according to the concrete circumstances. Such adjustments have both satisfied the objective needs of using users’ works, and guaranteed the basic rights of rights holders. Furthermore, the draft cancelled the statutory licensing provision’s exception of a statement that the work may not be used, meaning that rights holders’ statement on works that may not be used does not influence the statutory licensing use, expert where periodicals state they have exclusive rights; graph works have been added to the textbook statutory licensing; exclusive publishing rights statements have been added to statutory licenses for reprinting; audio work statutory licences have been adjusted to be three months after the lawful publication of the audio product; statutory licences for the radio transmission of audio works has been merged into statutory licences for radio and television transmission.

(13) Concerning collective copyright management organizations’ extended management.

The collective copyright is an important symbol of weighing a country or region’s copyright protection level, and is an important channel for resolving the broad users’ lawful use of works. In recent years, our country established a series of collective copyright management organizations, but the understanding and knowledge of all walks of society concerning collective copyright management remains to be raised, many works have not yet been added  to corresponding collective management organizations, and situations often occur in reality whereby it emerges that users are willing to lawfully use works but, however, cannot find the rights holder. In order to resolve the predicament of users in using works, the draft, based on our country’s national conditions, and leaning from the collective copyright management systems of northern European countries, provides in principle for an extended collective management system, being that the State Council administrative copyright management department may permit collective copyright management organizations with broad representativeness to represent non-members and develop extended collective copyright management business.

(14) Concerning collective copyright management organizations authorization and use fee standard objections

In our country’s collective copyright management system, collective copyright organizations may conduct collective management according to the authorization of the rights holders, may conduct collective management over statutory licences, and may conduct extended collective management after permission by the State Council administrative copyright management department (content added in this revision). Within that, the statutory licensing remuneration standards touch upon social and public interests, and have a public policy element, therefore, they must be formulated by government departments, authorization-type use fees are provided on the basis of the “Collective Copyright Management Regulations”, formulated by collective management organizations and announced by the National Copyright Administration. But in reality, if users have objections against the use fee standards, laws have not clearly provided how to deal with this. Because of this, the draft provides that, where there are objections against collective copyright management organizations’ authorization and use fees, the State Council administrative copyright management department may organize an expert committee to conduct adjudication.

(15) Concerning exclusive licence contract and transfer contract registration systems.

In recent years, cases of “selling one good twice” or “one bride, two weddings” often happened in market trade in copyright and related rights, engendering a large menace to copyright trade security, all walks of society also repeatedly put forward the necessity to establish an exclusive licence and transfer registration and filing system. The draft, taking into consideration elements from all sides, provided for a copyright and related right exclusive licence and transfer registration system, and has adopted the doctrine of “registration antagonism*” in terms of legal effect, and at the same time provided that statutory licence compensation must have registration as precondition (a different precondition for statutory compensation is registration copyright and related rights.)

(16) Concerning technological protection measures and rights management information

Technological protection measures and rights management information are provided by the “WIPO Copyright Treaty” and the “WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty”, and at the time of the 2001 “Copyright Law” revision, provisions have also been made on legal responsibility, but it is not perfect from a logical point of view, because in the higher text, there is no provision on the definition of and duties relating to technological protection measures and rights management information. Although technological protection measures and electronic rights management information were provided for in the “Information Network Dissemination Right Protection Regulations” promulgated in 2006 by the State Council, because that regulation only applies to the network environment, there are no provisions concerning technological protection measures and rights management information in a non-network environment. Because of this, when our country acceded to the above treaties in 2007, certain inconsistencies in fact exist with the two abovementioned international treaties concerning provisions on technological protection measures and rights management information. Based on the abovementioned reasons, the following adjustments have been made in the draft: (1) the term for technological measures in the current “Copyright Law” is changed into “technological protection measures”, and electronic rights management information is changed into “rights management information”, to conform to the treaty; (20 considering that technological protection measures and rights management information do not belong to the content of copyright or related rights, but are closely connected to these two categories of rights, an individual chapter with special provisions is set up; (3) the content in the “Information Network Dissemination Right Protection Regulations” concerning technological protection management and rights management information is expanded into the non-network environment, and the duties as well as limitations and exception of the corresponding sides are provided for, at the same time, apart from the provisions on civil liability in the chapter on “protection of rights”, an article is provided for specially concerning administrative liability when violating duties related to technological protection measures and rights management information.

(17) Concerning civil liability

The main revisions of the draft in the part on civil liability are: (1) civil liability provisions have been simplified, the main reason being that, as the higher texts provided for clear demarcation of rights, infringement is constituted so long as there is use or intrusion without the permission of the rights holder, and it goes without saying that civil responsibility must be borne, because of this, the concrete situation of bearing civil responsibility does not need to be listed; (2) it clearly provides that network service operators providing purely technological services for not bear a duty of examination for copyright or related rights, and essentially provides for a notice and takedown procedure, of which the concrete content is also provided in the “Information Network Dissemination Right Protection Regulations”; (3) the draft provides for exempting users from the duty to compensation where in reality, use fees have already been paid in the past to collective copyright management organizations but they are sued in court, but they must cease the infringement and pay fees; the main reason being guiding rights holders to use collective copyright management systems through integrating carrots and sticks, encouraging lawful use of works, reducing parties’ malicious lawsuits, and stimulating the lawful dissemination and use of works; (4) the provisions on compensation have been adjustment, in the current “Copyright Law”, these are based on actual loss and unlawful income, learning from the provisions of the “Patent Law”, provisions on rights trade expense multipliers have been added, and at the same time restrictive conditions are added to statutory compensation – namely that copyright or related right registration, exclusive licence contract registration or transfer contract registration must be conducted, furthermore, provisions on punitive compensation of one to three times have been added for repeated instances of wilful infringement.

(18) Concerning administrative copyright law enforcement organ management methods

Our country’s copyright protection system implements the two tracks of administrative protection and judicial protection, but in the current “Copyright Law”, there are no provision on any administrative coercion method, especially under conditions of the swift development of network technology and the widespread phenomenon on piracy on the Internet which is even extremely rampant in some regions, areas and segments, this sort of legislative insufficiencies and shortcomings have gravely influenced and restrained the effectiveness and deterrence of administrative copyright protection, which is not beneficial to attacking infringing and piracy activities, administrative copyright management departments and especially the first-line law enforcement departments have strongly reacted against this in real law enforcement and social supervision. In order to effectively attack infringing and piracy activities, perfect our country’s administrative copyright protection system, the draft draws lessons from methods in other intellectual property rights laws (Article 55 of the “Trademark Law” and “Article 64 of the “Patent Law”), and provisions on administrative copyright management department law enforcement methods have been added, and especially powers of sealing up and detainment have been added.

19: Concerning administrative mediation of copyright disputes

According to the requirements of the State Council concerning moving rule by law government construction forward, and integrating the real situation of the copyright sphere (the fastest case growth, the largest scale, at present, copyright cases occupy more than half of the total amount of intellectual property rights cases the nationwide judicial system accepts), the draft contains  exploratory provisions for an administrative mediation system. The main reason being to fully give rein to the superiority of administrative copyright management organs’ specialization, give rein to the characteristics of administrative mediation, being high efficiency and convenience, reducing parties’ litigation costs, and relieving case pressure on the judicial system. Considering that administrative mediation systems involves many procedural procedures, the draft only contains principle provisions, concrete matters will be provided separately.

(20) Other content

The draft has also clarified a number of other matters on the basis of the many years of practice of the “Copyright Law” and questions put forward in reality, such as the time in which copyright and related rights come into being, the basis for calculation of the copyright protection term, the “tree-step test”, current affairs news, the deletion of enjoyment from reasonable use, the number of copies for individual study and research, the definition of format design and radio or television programmes, substituting “destroying Socialist market economy order” for “at the same time damaging the public interest” as a constitutive element for administrative liability, etc.

The above explanation is provided for reference.

* This refers to the principle of publicity, meaning that an exclusive licence or transfer cannot be invoked or relied upon against third parties if it is not registered.

关于《中华人民共和国

著作权法》(修改草案)的简要说明

(国家版权局   2012年3月)

一、我国著作权法律制度的基本情况

我国著作权法律制度的基本框架由法律、行政法规、地方性法规、部门规章、地方政府规章、规范性文件、司法解释,以及相关国际公约等组成。经过二十多年努力,我国已经形成了较为完备的著作权法律体系。其中,《中华人民共和国著作权法》(以下简称《著作权法》)是我国著作权法律制度中最重要和最基本的法律,在规范著作权行为中起着统领作用。根据《著作权法》相关规定,国务院先后制修订了《实施国际著作权条约的规定》(1992年9月25日发布,1992年9月30日施行)、《计算机软件保护条例》(2001年12月20日发布,2002年1月1日施行)、《中华人民共和国著作权法实施条例》(2002年8月2日发布,2002年9月15日施行)、《著作权集体管理条例》(2004年12月28日发布,2005年3月1日施行)、《信息网络传播权保护条例》(2006年5月18日发布,2006年7月1日施行)、《广播电台电视台录音制品支付报酬暂行办法》(2009年11月10日发布,2010年1月1日施行)。上述“一法六条例”(一部法律、六部行政法规)是我国著作权法律体系的基本内容。此外,关于侵犯著作权犯罪的问题规定于《中华人民共和国刑法》;国务院著作权行政管理部门制定了9部部门规章和44部规范性文件,相关司法部门为解决《著作权法》在民事和刑事司法实践中的具体适用问题制定了6部司法解释或指导意见,部分省、自治区和直辖市人大常委会或政府还根据本地情况制定了地方性法规或地方政府规章。在国际条约方面,目前我国已经先后加入6部国际著作权条约:《保护文学艺术作品伯尔尼公约》、《世界版权公约》、《保护录音制品制作者防止未经许可复制其录音制品公约》、世界贸易组织《与贸易有关的知识产权协定》、《世界知识产权组织版权条约》以及《世界知识产权组织表演和录音制品条约》。

我国《著作权法》于1990年9月7日由第七届全国人大常委会第十五次会议审议通过,并于1991年6月1日起正式实施。2001年10月27日,为完善我国著作权法律制度,促进经济、科技和文化的繁荣发展,并适应我国加入世界贸易组织的进程,第九届全国人大常委会第二十四次会议审议通过《关于修改<中华人民共和国著作权法>的决定》,对1990年《著作权法》进行了修正。修正后的《著作权法》由原来的六章、五十六条变更为六章、六十条。2010年2月26日,为进一步完善我国著作权法律制度,并根据执行世界贸易组织中美知识产权争端案裁决的现实需要,第十一届全国人大常委会第十三次会议审议通过《关于修改<中华人民共和国著作权法>的决定》,并自2010年4月1日起施行。本次修正涉及两个条款,修正后的《著作权法》共六章、六十一条。

上述两次《著作权法》修改均与世界贸易组织有关,第一次修改是为了满足加入世界贸易组织的直接需要,第二次修改是为了履行世界贸易组织关于中美知识产权争端案裁决的现实需要。因此,这两次《著作权法》修改均具有被动性和局部性的特点,而不是为适应我国经济社会的发展和科学技术的进步的现实需要对《著作权法》作出的主动、全面的调整。

二、《著作权法》修改的必要性

进入新世纪以来,知识经济深入发展,经济全球化进程明显加快,以信息技术为代表的高新技术日新月异,智力创造对物质生产、文化生产的作用越来越大,包括著作权在内的知识产权日益成为国家发展的战略性资源和国际竞争力的核心要素。党中央、国务院提出,在新形势下,要将提高自主创新能力作为调整经济结构、转变经济增长方式的中心环节来抓,而自主创新能力建设离不开知识产权制度的保障。党的十七大明确提出“提高自主创新能力,建设创新型国家”的战略目标;据此,国务院于2008年6月颁布《国家知识产权战略纲要》,将知识产权作为国家发展战略来推进。经过几年的努力,知识产权工作在全党全国工作大局中的地位得到进一步提升。作为知识产权保护的基础性法律,《著作权法》的修改完善对于贯彻落实科学发展观、推动经济发展方式的根本改变;对于实施国家知识产权战略纲要、提升我国创造、运用、保护和管理著作权水平;对于贯彻落实党的十七届六中全会精神,为促进社会主义文化大发展大繁荣提供法律保证;对于进一步推进对外开放、使我国更广泛更深入融入和参与国际竞争、提高国家的国际影响力意义重大,刻不容缓。

(一)修改《著作权法》是完善现有制度的客观需要

作为新中国第一部《著作权法》,上世纪80年代起草时我国尚处于计划经济时代,缺乏本土立法经验,因此这部法律不可避免带有计划经济的烙印。此后虽经两次修改,但如前所述这两次修改都不是自主、全面的修改,没有很好地解决我国经济社会发展,特别是社会转型、经济转轨面临的现实问题。因此,全面修改《著作权法》是适应我国经济社会发展的客观需要。

(二)修改《著作权法》是回应科技发展的客观需要

二十一世纪人类社会已经进入知识经济时代,世界未来的竞争将主要表现为知识产权的竞争。随着高新技术特别是数字技术和网络技术的迅猛发展和广泛使用,我国著作权保护面临的现实环境发生了极大的变化。而科学技术迅猛发展、社会环境的不断变化的动态性,与著作权法律制度的相对稳定性矛盾十分突出,著作权法律制度遇到了严峻挑战。为适应新形势、新情况,需要及时全面推进修法工作。

(三)修改《著作权法》是适应国际形势的客观需要

随着经济全球化和世界一体化的深入发展,世界各国、各地区不断完善著作权法律,国际著作权保护规则处于持续调整中。由于发展阶段不同,发达国家和发展中国家在著作权领域的分歧将长期存在,为维护各自的经济利益和本国国际竞争力,各方都在积极争夺国际著作权规则调整的主导权。我国面临的著作权保护国际环境越来越严峻。为适应新的国际形势,维护国家利益,需要及时全面推进修法工作。

(四)修改《著作权法》是完善知识产权制度的客观需要

在知识产权领域,相对于《专利法》和《商标法》,《著作权法》调整的社会关系更复杂、矛盾更突出、问题更多,是受到技术进步和社会发展影响最大的一部法律。目前,《专利法》第三次修订已经完成,《商标法》第三次修订也已经进入国务院审查阶段。而《著作权法》的修法工作相对滞后。为进一步完善我国知识产权法律体系,需要及时全面推进修法工作。

(五)修改《著作权法》是回应社会各界关切的客观需要

近年来,随着我国经济社会的发展,特别是高新技术的迅猛发展和广泛运用,修改《著作权法》已成为社会各界在知识产权领域的重点关切。这些呼吁不仅来自司法、行政和教学科研部门,更多来自著作权人和产业界。每年“两会”期间,人大代表和政协委员都会提出大量关于修改《著作权法》的建议、提案或议案。因此,为积极回应社会各界的关切,需要及时全面推进修法工作。

三、《著作权法》修改的基本思路

根据我国现行立法体制,国家版权局在本次《著作权法》修改过程中承担着准备和起草修订草案的基础工作。经综合考量各方因素,我们确定的本次修法的基本思路为:坚持一个理念,遵循三个原则,追求三个效果。

所谓“坚持一个理念”,即坚持集思广益,解决问题的理念。集思广益,就是要开门立法,在修法过程中广泛和充分听取社会各界的意见,在机制上保证修法工作的公开性和透明性;解决问题,就是要从实际出发,找出问题、找准问题、深入分析、反复论证,着眼于解决现实中突出问题。

所谓“遵循三个原则”,即遵循独立性、平衡性和国际性原则。独立性原则就是要立足中国国情、体现中国特色、结合中国实际、解决中国问题。当前,我国著作权法律制度面临着权利人意识普遍提高、版权相关产业快速成长、高新技术迅猛发展、我国社会转型进程加快、国内外压力日渐增大等一系列复杂的国内国际环境。本次修法,必须从中国的实际出发,扎根于而不是超越或者离开这些基本国情。我们愿意借鉴其他国家或地区在著作权立法方面的成功经验,但是要更注重中国的现实国情和实际需要。

平衡性原则就是要妥善处理好创作者、传播者和社会公众利益的基本平衡。著作权法律制度是调整作品创作、传播和消费利益关系链的基本法律,既要保护创造、鼓励传播,也要促进消费,满足广大公众的智力文化需求。《著作权法》修改,要牢牢把握利益平衡这一现代著作权立法的基本精神,认真评估我国现行《著作权法》的利益平衡机制是否恰当,实践中是否具有可操作性,是否充分兼顾了各相关方的利益。要充分认识在当前新技术条件下著作权保护平衡动态化的特点,吸取历史有益经验,广泛听取和深入研究各方利益诉求,妥善处理好保护著作权与保障传播的关系,既要依法保护著作权,又要促进传播使用,发挥智力产品的社会效益。

国际性原则就是从国际著作权制度调整变化的趋势和提升我负责任大国的国际形象角度推进修法工作。要认真查找我国现行《著作权法》与我国加入的国际条约之间的差距,使我国《著作权法》符合相关国际条约的规定;要密切跟踪和关注国际组织对著作权相关条约的讨论,把握其发展方向,适时内化为国内法;要仔细分析和研究各主要国家的著作权法制发展动态,消化吸收,改造利用,增强国际化的共识。

所谓“追求三个效果”,即追求高效率、高质量和高水平的效果。高效率,就是要以只争朝夕的精神,争取在尽可能短的时间内完成修法工作。高效率的关键是解决好组织保障和沟通协调问题。高质量,就是要注重法律的实用性,能够解决目前我国著作权保护遇到的突出问题,通过不懈努力使著作权法在质量上上一个新台阶。高质量的关键是要把当前著作权法存在的问题找准、找实,在广泛听取社会各界意见并深入研究的基础上,拿出解决问题的办法。高水平,就是要适度前瞻,要对国际国内经济、社会、科技发展趋势有一个正确的判断,使修法工作面向现代化、面向世界、面向未来,为国际知识产权制度的进一步完善作出应有贡献。

四、《著作权法》修改的基本过程

根据国务院领导批示和国务院2011年立法工作计划,《著作权法》修订工作被列入国务院当年立法工作计划三档——需要积极研究论证的项目。2011年7月13日,国家版权局召集相关部门和专家在京举行了“《著作权法》第三次修订启动会议暨专家聘任仪式”,标志着《著作权法》第三次修订工作正式启动。

为顺利推进修法工作,国家版权局专门成立了“国家版权局《著作权法》修订工作领导小组”(以下简称领导小组)和“国家版权局《著作权法》修订工作专家委员会”(以下简称专家委员会),其中领导小组由新闻出版总署署长、国家版权局局长柳斌杰同志担任组长,成员来自中宣部、全国人大教科文卫委、最高人民法院、工业和信息化部、文化部、广电总局、国务院新闻办以及中国作协等部门;专家委员会由30人组成,成员来自各相关部门、权利人组织、产业界、实务界、社会团体以及科研院所等部门。

为广泛听取社会各界意见和建议,国家版权局于2011年7月初发出通知,邀请社会各界包括行政机关、人民法院、社会团体、科研院所、产业界、专家学者等近200家单位和个人就《著作权法》修订工作提出意见。同时,为保证修法工作质量,国家版权局专门委托了著作权领域影响力较大的三家教学科研单位(中国人民大学知识产权学院、中国社会科学院法学所知识产权研究中心、中南财经政法大学知识产权研究中心)分别起草《著作权法》修订专家建议稿。2011年12月31日,三家起草单位如期提交《著作权法》修订专家建议稿。2012年1月13日,国家版权局召集专家委员会成员及相关立法部门在北京举行专家委员会第一次会议,由三家专家建议稿起草单位汇报起草工作情况,并请与会专家研讨。

2012年2月1日,国务院办公厅发布《关于印发国务院2012年立法工作计划的通知》(国办发【2012】12号),其中将《著作权法》修订从三档提升为二档——需要抓紧工作、适时提出的项目。新闻出版总署署长、国家版权局局长柳斌杰同志明确要求加快推进修法工作,尽早完成前期论证和起草任务。根据这一新情况,2012年2月初,国家版权局开始着手起草《著作权法》修改草案。2012年2月下旬,起草工作初步完成,《著作权法》修改草案形成文本。随后,国家版权局迅速就草案进行了小范围内征求意见。2012年3月19日,国家版权局召集专家委员会成员及相关立法部门举行专家委员会第二次会议,对草案进行讨论。根据与会专家的意见和建议,国家版权局对草案进行多次修改,最终形成了目前的文本。

五、《著作权法》修改的主要方法和内容

基于上述修法的基本思路,我们在本次修法过程中采取的主要方法是:(1)将目前规定于行政法规中,应在著作权法中规定的一般性问题上升至法律中——主要是《著作权法实施条例》、《计算机软件保护条例》和《信息网络传播权保护条例》三部行政法规中的内容,如著作权产生时间,“三步检验法”、技术保护措施和权利管理信息等;(2)根据国际公约的基本要求,在现行著作权法中增加必要内容,使其与相关国际条约一致——如作者的出租权、表演者出租权、技术保护措施和权利管理信息等;(3)将实践证明行之有效的司法解释的相关规定上升到著作权法中——如著作权和相关权登记、委托作品的使用等;(4)将业界反复呼吁和实践中迫切需要的,在征求意见过程中初步达成共识的内容写入法律中——如著作权集体管理组织延伸性集体管理、实用艺术作品、信息网络传播权和广播权的界定、视听作品归属、职务作品归属、著作权专有许可和转让登记、著作权纠纷行政调解等。

现将本次修法的主要内容简要说明如下:

(一)关于篇章结构和体例

我国现行《著作权法》共六章、六十一条。根据二十多年来的《著作权法》施行的基本情况,参考我国其他知识产权法律的篇章结构和体例,同时借鉴世界其他国家和地区著作权法,我们在草案中对篇章结构和体例进行了调整,草案共八章、八十八条,其主要修改内容是:第一章总则保持不变;第二章著作权删去“权利的限制”一节;将现行法第四章“出版、表演、录音录像、播放”删去许可使用等内容后提前至第三章,并更名为“相关权”;将现行法第二章中的“权利的限制”一节单列为第四章,理由是权利的限制既及于著作权也及于相关权,著作权一章无法完全涵盖;将现行法第三章“著作权许可使用和转让合同”更名为“权利的行使”作为第五章;将技术保护措施和权利管理信息单列为第六章,理由是其他章节无法涵盖其内容;将现行法第五章“法律责任和执法措施”更名为“权利的保护”作为第七章;第八章附则保持不变。

(二)关于作品

草案增加了作品的定义,并将《著作权法实施条例》中关于各类具体作品的定义上升至法律中。与现行《著作权法》相比,其主要区别为:(1)将“电影作品和以类似摄制电影的方法创作的作品”改为国际社会较普遍使用的“视听作品”,同时在相关权部分取消了“录像制品”的规定,主要理由是视听作品的表述更加简洁,单设一类录像制品作为相关权客体的立法例不普遍,多数情况下录像制品都可作为“视听作品”保护;(2)增加关于实用艺术作品的规定。我国现行《著作权法》中并无实用艺术作品的规定,但在《实施国际著作权条约的规定》中却有保护二十五年的规定。这种超国民待遇的规定长期以来受到学术界和实务界的质疑,并且对于我国国民的实用艺术作品是以美术作品保护还是不保护没有统一认识。因此,草案根据《伯尔尼公约》规定,对实用艺术作品单列为一类作品进行保护,其保护期规定为二十五年。(3)将计算机软件改为计算机程序,主要理由是文档可以直接以文字作品保护,无需专门规定。

(三)关于著作权和相关权登记

著作权和相关权权利的产生适用“自动保护”原则,无需履行任何手续。但是著作权和相关权作为无形财产权在适用“自动保护”原则的实践中存在两方面不足:一是权利状态不清晰,不利于权利人,尤其是未发表或匿名作品的著作权人行使权利;二是交易相对方很难判断权利状态,不利于市场交易,过大的交易风险和过高的交易成本会抑制交易市场的发展和繁荣。为有效解决上述问题,许多国家和地区纷纷建立著作权登记制度。该制度不影响“自动保护”原则的适用,对权利人享有著作权起到初步证明的作用,是确保版权交易安全、减少版权交易成本,降低版权法律风险的重要制度保障。我国早在1994年12月就由国家版权局制定了《作品自愿登记试行办法》。十七年来,作品登记制度在促进版权相关产业发展、推动社会主义文学艺术科学事业的发展和繁荣方面作了有益的探索和尝试。作品登记体系的建立不仅得到了著作权人、文化传播企业以及产业界的欢迎和认可,也得到了各级司法机关和行政执法机关的肯定。如最高人民法院《关于审理著作权民事纠纷案件适用法律若干问题的解释》,海关总署《关于<中华人民共和国知识产权海关保护条例>的实施办法》等等均对作品登记证书的法律地位有明确的规定,而在公安机关办理侵犯著作权刑事案件的实践中,作品登记证书则是证明权利人权利的重要证据。因此,草案从我国国情出发,借鉴国际社会做法,参考《计算机软件保护条例》规定,明确了著作权和相关权登记制度的法律依据、登记文书的法律效力以及收费标准制定问题。

(四)关于著作权内容

草案明确划分了著作权中的人身权利和财产权利。主要理由是行文简洁,在后文中就可以以著作权中的财产权代替现行《著作权法》中的本法第*条第(*)项至第(*)项的措辞。

草案对人身权利进行了调整:(1)修改署名权的定义——决定是否表明作者身份及如何表明作者身份的权利,主要理由是现行法中“在作品上署名”的规定只是如何表明作者身份的一种方式;(2)关于修改权,在征求意见过程中多数意见认为修改权和保护作品完整权属于一个权利的两个方面,建议借鉴日本、德国等著作权法的规定。为此,草案删去修改权将其纳入保护作品完整权,使著作权中的人身权利缩减为三项:发表权、署名权和保护作品完整权。

草案对财产权利进行了调整:(1)复制权修改为包括数字化在内的任何形式;(2)发行权增加了其它转让所有权的方式;(3)根据《世界知识产权组织版权条约》第七条规定,出租权客体增加了包含作品的录音制品;(4)播放权增加了有线播放的内容,同时为避免与广播混淆,将名称由广播权修改为播放权;(5)将信息网络传播权由交互式扩张为直播、转播等方式,以解决实践中提出的定时播放和转播等问题;(6)考虑到汇编权实际上可以由复制权控制,删除了汇编权;(7)考虑到我国目前艺术品市场的迅速发展和巨大规模,增加了追续权的规定;(8)将《计算机软件保护条例》中关于计算机程序的修改权移到本法中。此外,考虑到信息网络传播权和追续权的内容相对比较复杂,因此授权国务院另行规定。

(五)关于著作权归属

草案对著作权的归属进行了调整:(1)关于法人作品,增加了法人或其他组织投资,以法人、其他组织或者其代表人名义发表的要件,使得法人作品更加清晰,实践中更容易判断;(2)关于合作作品,增加了合作作品作者的诉权,使得任何一个合作作品作者都可以就整部合作作品提起诉讼,但同时规定其获得的赔偿应当合理分配给其他合作作者;(3)关于视听作品,修改了视听作品著作权归属,增加了视听作品著作权首先通过合同约定的规定,如无约定则归制片者,但是编剧、作词、作曲等作者对视听作品的后续使用享有获酬权;(4)关于职务作品,与现行《著作权法》相比,草案简化了职务作品著作权归属的规定,即首先由当事人约定,如无约定则归职工,单位在其业务范围可以免费使用,但是对于工程设计图、产品设计图等作品的著作权则归单位,职工享有署名权。

(六)关于“孤儿作品”

所谓“孤儿作品”是指作者身份不明或者虽然作者身份明确但查找无果的作品。近年来随着数字网络技术的发展,对于这类作品的使用是世界范围内的讨论焦点,特别是随着谷歌公司“数字图书馆计划”的推进,美国、欧洲等对此讨论非常激烈。为回应技术的发展和商业模式的更新,草案对“孤儿作品”探索性地作了原则规定,即对于此类作品,使用者可以向国务院著作权行政管理部门申请并提存使用费后使用作品。关于具体的审批和管理工作,草案规定由国务院著作权行政管理部门另行规定。

(七)关于表演者出租权

表演者出租权是《世界知识产权组织表演和录音制品条约》第九条的规定,我国在2007年加入该条约时国内法未就表演者出租权作出规定,此项权利一直是我国《著作权法》与该国际条约的差距之一。因此,草案增加了表演者出租权的规定,使我国《著作权法》与该国际条约保持一致。

(八)关于视听表演者的权利

2012年6月,世界知识产权组织将在北京召开关于缔结视听表演者权利条约的外交大会。因此,我国政府应当对视听表演者的权利以及该条约持积极态度。基于这种考虑,本次修法,草案借鉴了该条约(草案文本)第十二条,规定了视听表演者享有约定视听作品归属的权利,如无约定则归制片者,但表演者对其表演的后续利用享有获得报酬权。

(九)关于表演者和录音制作者的播放权

2007年,我国在加入《世界知识产权组织表演和录音制品条约》时对其第十五条进行了保留。该条是关于表演者和录音制作者享有因他人播放或向公众传播录音制品获得报酬的权利。近年来,唱片公司为代表的音乐产业界强力呼吁我国《著作权法》增加关于录音制作者的播放权和表演权,理由是随着数字技术和网络技术的发展,唱片业界传统的通过发行有形唱片的商业模式几近消亡,因此赋予录音制作者播放权是音乐产业可持续发展的迫切要求。草案增加了关于表演者和录音制作者获酬权的规定,使我国《著作权法》与相关国际条约保持一致。

(十)关于广播电台电视台

在广播电台电视台权利部分,除了将转播扩大为无线和有线两种方式外,草案还增加了广播电台电视台有权禁止他人以网络方式转播其广播电视节目的权利,主要理由是目前在实践中他人通过网络转播广播电视节目的问题比较突出,如果法律不作出明确规定实践中将无法处理,但是对于信息网络传播权,考虑到目前《世界知识产权组织广播组织条约》还在讨论中,尚无定论,因此草案没有作出规定。

(十一)关于计算机程序反向工程

计算机程序反向工程是计算机程序兼容必不可少的一个环节,多年来这个问题一直未得到合理解决。草案借鉴欧洲和德国等著作权法的做法,明确规定计算机程序的合法授权使用者可以复制和翻译该程序的兼容性信息,但是同时规定不得将该信息用于其它目的或者侵权行为。

(十二)关于著作权法定许可制度

我国现行《著作权法》规定了教科书编写出版、报刊转载、录音制作、电台电视台播放等五类著作权法定许可制度。著作权法定许可制度允许他人使用作品不经权利人许可,本质上是对权利人权利的限制。如果权利人的报酬权不能保证,那么这项制度在实际上就会成为对权利人权利的剥夺。但是从著作权法定许可制度二十年的实践来看,基本没有使用者履行付酬义务,也很少发生使用者因为未履行付酬义务而承担法律责任,权利人的权利未得到切实保障,法律规定形同虚设。在修法征求意见过程中,鉴于这项制度的实际效果,有专家建议取消法定许可制度。我们经分析后认为,著作权法定许可制度的价值取向和制度功能符合我国的基本国情(如教科书使用作品),目前该制度不成功的原因在于付酬机制和法律救济机制的缺失。因此,草案对法定许可制度着重从这两方面进行了调整和完善,增加了关于法定许可必须事先备案、及时通过著作权集体管理组织付酬和指明来源等义务的规定,如使用者不及时履行上述义务,著作权行政管理机关可以根据具体情况课以行政处罚。这样的调整既满足了使用者使用作品的客观需要,也保证了权利人的基本权利。此外,草案取消了法定许可制度中声明不得使用的例外,即权利人关于不得使用的声明不影响法定许可使用,报刊专有权声明除外;教科书法定许可增加了图形作品;转载法定许可增加了专有出版权声明;录音法定许可调整为合法录音制品出版后3个月;将广电播放录音制品法定许可并入广电播放作品法定许可制度。

(十三)关于著作权集体管理组织延伸性集体管理

著作权集体管理制度是衡量一个国家或地区著作权保护水平的重要标志,也是解决广大使用者合法使用作品的重要途径。近年来,我国建立了一系列著作权集体管理组织,但是社会各界关于著作权集体管理的认识和知识尚有待提高,很多作者还没有加入相应的集体管理组织,在现实中常常出现使用者愿意合法使用作品却找不到权利人的情况。为解决使用者使用作品的困境,草案根据我国国情,借鉴北欧国家著作权集体管理制度,原则性规定了延伸性集体管理制度,即对于具有广泛代表性的著作权集体管理组织,国务院著作权行政管理部门可以许可其代表非会员开展延伸性著作权集体管理业务。

(十四)关于著作权集体管理组织授权使用费标准异议

在我国著作权集体管理制度中,著作权集体管理组织可以根据权利人的授权进行集体管理,可以对法定许可进行集体管理,也可以经国务院著作权行政管理部门许可后进行延伸性集体管理(本次修订增加内容)。其中法定许可的付酬标准涉及社会公共利益,具有公共政策因素,所以必须由政府部门制定,授权性的使用费根据《著作权集体管理条例》规定,由集体管理组织制定、国家版权局公告。但在现实中,如果使用者对该标准有异议的,如何处理,法律并无明确规定。因此,草案规定,对著作权集体管理组织授权使用费有异议的,可以由国务院著作权行政管理部门组织专家委员会进行裁定。

(十五)关于专有许可合同与转让合同登记制度

近年来,著作权和相关权市场交易中经常出现“一物二卖”或者“一女二嫁”的案件,对于著作权交易安全产生很大威胁,社会各界也多次提出要建立专有许可和转让的登记备案制度。草案综合考虑各方因素,规定了著作权和相关权专有许可和转让的登记制度,在法律效力上采取了“登记对抗主义”,同时规定法定许可赔偿必须以登记为前提条件(另一类法定赔偿的前提条件是著作权和相关权登记)。

(十六)关于技术保护措施和权利管理信息

技术保护措施和权利管理信息是《世界知识产权组织版权条约》和《世界知识产权组织表演和录音制品条约》的规定,我国在2001年修订《著作权法》时在法律责任中也作了规定,但是从逻辑上来讲不完善,因为前文中并没有关于技术保护措施和权利管理信息的定义和义务的规定。2006年国务院制定《信息网络传播权保护条例》,其中虽然规定了技术措施和权利管理电子信息,但由于该条例仅适用于网络环境,对于非网络环境的技术措施和权利管理信息并无规定。因此,2007年我国加入上述国际条约时,关于技术保护措施和权利管理信息的规定实际上与该两部国际条约存在一定差距。基于上述原因,草案作了如下调整:(1)将现行《著作权法》中的技术措施名称改为“技术保护措施”,权利管理电子信息改为“权利管理信息”,以与公约相符;(2)考虑到技术保护措施和权利管理信息不属于著作权和相关权的内容,但与这两类权利密切相关,因此单设一章专门规定;(3)将《信息网络传播权保护条例》中关于技术保护措施和权利管理信息的内容扩张至非网络环境下,规定相关方的义务以及限制与例外,同时在“权利的保护”一章除规定民事责任外,专门规定一条关于违反技术保护措施和权利管理信息义务的行政责任。

(十七)关于民事责任

草案在民事责任部分的修改主要有:(1)简化了民事责任的规定,主要理由是既然前文规定了明确的权利边界,那么只要是未经权利人许可使用擅入就构成侵权,承担民事责任不言而喻,因此承担民事责任的具体情形无列举之必要;(2)明确规定提供纯技术服务的网络服务商不承担与著作权和相关权有关的审查义务,概要规定了通知移除程序,其具体内容还规定于《信息网络传播权保护条例》中;(3)对于现实中已经向著作权集体管理组织支付过使用费又被诉至法院的,草案规定豁免使用者的损害赔偿责任,但是要停止侵权并支付费用,主要理由是通过疏堵结合引导权利人运用著作权集体管理制度,鼓励合法使用作品,减少当事人恶意诉讼,促进作品的合法传播和使用;(4)调整了损害赔偿的规定,在现行《著作权法》实际损失、违法所得的基础上,借鉴《专利法》规定,增加了权利交易费用倍数的规定,同时对法定赔偿增加了限定条件——即必须进行著作权或相关权登记、专有许可合同登记或转让合同登记,此外,对于两次以上故意侵权的增加了一至三倍的惩罚性赔偿规定。

(十八)关于著作权行政管理机关执法手段

我国著作权保护制度实行行政保护和司法保护双轨制,但是现行《著作权法》中没有规定任何行政强制手段,尤其在网络技术迅猛发展互联网上侵权盗版现象普遍甚至在某些地区、领域和环节还十分猖獗的形势下,这种立法上的不足和欠缺已经严重影响和制约了著作权行政保护的有效性和威慑力,不利于打击侵权盗版行为,著作权行政管理部门特别是一线执法部门在实际执法和社会监管中反应强烈。为有效有效打击侵权盗版行为,完善我国著作权行政保护制度,草案借鉴其他知识产权法律的做法(《商标法》第五十五条、《专利法》第六十四条规定),增加了著作权行政管理部门执法手段的规定,特别是增加了查封扣押权。

(十九)关于著作权纠纷行政调解

根据国务院关于推进法治政府建设的要求,结合著作权领域的实际情况(案件量增长最快、规模最大,目前全国法院系统受理的知识产权案件著作权案件占一半以上),草案探索性地规定了著作权案件行政调解制度。主要理由是充分发挥著作权行政管理机关专业性的优点,发挥行政调解高效、便捷的特点,减轻当事人的诉讼成本,释放法院系统的案件压力。考虑到行政调解制度涉及很多程序性规定,因此草案仅作原则性规定,具体事项另行规定。

(二十)其他内容

草案还根据《著作权法》多年来的实践和现实提出的问题,明确规定了其它一些事项,如著作权和相关权的产生时间、著作权保护期的计算起点、“三步检验法”、时事新闻、合理使用中删除了欣赏、个人学习研究复制的份数、版式设计和广播电视节目的定义、以“破坏社会主义市场经济秩序”代替“同时损害公共利益”作为行政责任的构成要件等。

以上说明,供参考。

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