Copyright Law Revision: A Short Update

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According to a People’s Daily of 7 January, the third draft of the Copyright Law has been completed, and will be submitted to the State Council ‘soon’. Provided that the State Council approves, and given the lengthy opinion-seeking and revision process thus far, it does not seem that there will be much delay in its being passed by the National People’s Congress. This is confirmed in the report of a recent meeting of the NPC Committee for Education, Science, Culture and Hygiene, which lists revision of the Copyright Law among 11 legislative programmes that are deemed to be “relatively mature”. The Committee therefore suggests these to be listed in the legislative plan of the NPC’s Standing Committee, to accelerate the legislative process.

So far, no text of the current version has been published. According to the People’s Daily, the main changes are the following:
the right of pursuit for fine art works has been added, and the protection term for performance and photographic works has been increased;
rental rights for performers as well as rights to obtain remuneration from audiovisual works have been added, as have rights for audio producers to obtain remuneration from other persons using their works for broadcast and open dissemination, and the rights of radio and television organizations have been changed from rights to prohibit to exclusive rights;
administrative enforcement measures have been enhanced, it has been providers that rights holders can choose the method of damage compensation, statutory compensation levels have been raised, punitive damage provisions have been added, and the scope to infer fault of an infringer has been widened.


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