Jurisdiction - China
Reports and Analysis
China – Certain Rights Of TV And Radio Stations In Draft Amendment To Copyright Law.

6 June, 2012


Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – China – TMT – Intellectual Property


In March, 2012, the National Copyright Administration of China published a draft amendment to the Copyright Law of China (the “Draft Amendment”) and circulated it for  public consultation. The Draft Amendment was prepared in an attempt to respond to challenges posed by fast advances in information technology and social development and to further align China’s copyright law with international standards.
The Draft Amendment also contained certain provisions on the rights of TV and radio stations. 
While the Draft Amendment required that a license granted by the relevant copyright holder has to be obtained before one can use works of others, it granted broad statutory license to TV and radio stations in respect of broadcasting copyrighted works that have already been published. Articles 47 and 48 of the Draft Amendment provided that TV and radio stations may broadcast copyrighted works that have already been published without permission or license of the relevant copyright holder, provided: (1) registering with the administrative copyright management department of the State Council (the “Copyright Management Department”) before the broadcast, (2) specifying the full name of the author, name of the works and source of the works at the time of the broadcast, and (3) paying usage fees to collective copyright management organizations in accordance with standards formulated by the Copyright Management Department within one month after the broadcast, and, at the same time, reporting the name of the works, the name of the author, the source of the works and other relevant information. When users of the copyrighted works file for registration of statutory licenses, the Copyright Management Department shall publish the information set forth in the relevant application on its official website. The collective copyright management organization is required to timely transfer the fees it receives to the relevant holder of the copyright and establish a system for copyright holders to check and monitor the use of their works and payment of relevant use fees, free of any charge.
In addition, Articles 37 and 38 of the Draft Amendment provided that a TV or radio station has the right to prohibit: (1) broadcasting by other TV and radio stations of signals containing content that are first broadcast by such TV or radio station (the “TV/Radio Programs” of such TV or radio station), (2) recording of theTV/Radio Programs of such TV or radio station, (3) reproducing recording of the TV/Radio Programs of such TV or radio station, and (4) broadcasting to the public the TV/Radio Programs of such TV or radio station through wireless or cable means in an information network environment. The terms of protection of such rights of the TV and radio stations is 50 years, commencing from January 1 of the year immediately following the year in which the applicable TV/Radio Programs were first broadcast.  The Draft Amendment, however, did not address distribution rights over information networks. This is because the WIPO Broadcast Treaty is still under discussion.


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