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Your present location:Home >> Law >> Copyright Law >> Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China

Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China

Number of visits: Date:2016-09-08 14:00:37

(Adopted at the 15th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Seventh National People's Congress on September 71990promulgated by Order No. 31 of the President of the People's Republic of China on September 71990and effective as of June 11991)

  Chapter I General Provisions

  Article 1 This Law is enactedin accordance with the Constitution for the purposes of protecting the copyright of authors in their literaryartistic and scientific works and rights and interests related to copyrightof encouraging the creation and dissemination of works which would contribute to the building of an advanced socialist culture and ideology and to socialist material developmentand of promoting the development and flourishing of socialist culture and sciences.

  Article 2 Works of Chinese citizenslegal persons or entities without legal personalitywhether published or notshall enjoy copyright in accordance with this Law. Works of foreigners first published in the territory of the People's Republic of China shall enjoy copyright in accordance with this Law.

  Any work of a foreigner published outside the territory of the People's Republic of China which is eligible to enjoy copyright under an agreement concluded between the country to which the foreigner belongs and Chinaor under an international treaty to which both countries are partiesshall be protected in accordance with this Law.

  Article 3 For the purpose of this Lawthe term “works” includes works of literatureartnatural sciencesocial scienceengineering technology and the like which are created in the following forms

  (1) written works;

  (2) oral works;

  (3) musicaldramaticquyi and choreographic works;

  (4) Works of fine art and photographic works;

  (5) cinema to graphictelevision and video-graphic works;

  (6) drawings of engineering designs and product designsand descriptions thereof;

  (7) mapssketches and other graphic works;

  (8) computer software;

 (9) other works as provided for in law and administrative rules and regulations.

  Article 4 Works the publication or distribution of which is prohibited by law shall not be protected by this law.

  Copyright ownersin exercising their copyrightshall not violate the Constitution or laws or prejudice the public interests.

  Article 5 This law shall not be applicable to

  (1) laws; regulations; resolutionsdecisions and orders of state organs; other documents of legislativeadministrative and judicial nature; and their official translations;

  (2) news on current affairs; and

  (3) calendarsnumerical tablesforms of general use and formulas.

  Article 6 Measures for the protection of copyright in works of folk literature and art shall be established separately by the State Council.

  Article 7 Where any scientific or technological work is protected under the Patent Lawthe Law on Technology Contracts or similar lawsthe provisions of those laws shall apply.

  Article 8 The copyright administration department under the State Council shall be responsible for the nationwide administration of copyright. The copyright administration department under the people's government of each provinceautonomous region and municipality directly under the Central Government shall be responsible for the administration of copyright in its respective administrative area.

  Chapter II Copyright

  Section 1 Copyright Owners and Their Rights

  Article 9 The term “copyright owners” shall include

  (1) authors; and

  (2) other citizenslegal persons and entities without legal personality enjoying copyright in accordance with this Law.

  Article 10 The term “copyright” shall include the following personal rights and property rights

  (1) the right of publicationthat isthe right to decide whether to make a work available to the public;

  (2) the right of authorshipthat isthe right to claim authorship and to have the author's name indicated on his works;

  (3) the right of alternationthat isthe right to alter or authorize others to alter one's work;

  (4) the right of integritythat isthe right to protect one's work against distortion and mutilation;

  (5) the right of exploitation and the right to remunerationthat isthe right of exploiting one's work by means of reproductionperformancebroadcastingexhibition distributionmaking cinematographictelevision or video productionadaptationtranslationannotationcompilation and the likeand the right of authorizing others to exploit one's work by the above-mentioned meansand of receiving remuneration therefor.

  Section 2 Ownership of Copyright

  Article 11 Except where otherwise provided in this Lawthe copyright in a work shall belong to its author.

  The author of a work is the citizen who has created the work.

 Where a work is created according to the will and under the sponsorship and the responsibility of a legal or entity without legal personalitysuch legal person or entity without legal personality shall be deemed to be the author of the work. The citizenlegal person or entity without legal personality whose name is indicated on a work shallin the absence of proof to the contrarybe deemed to be the author of the work

  Article 12 Where a work is created by adaptationtranslationannotation or arrangement of a pre-existing workthe copyright in the work thus created shall be enjoyed by the adapt ortranslator or arrangerprovided that the exercise of such copyright shall not prejudice the copyright in the original work.

  Article 13 Where a work is created jointly by two or more co-authorsthe copyright in the work shall be enjoyed jointly by those co-authors. Any person who has not participated in the creation of the work may not claim the co- authorship.

  If a work of joint authorship can be separated into independent parts and exploited separatelyeach co-author may be entitled to independent copyright in the parts that he has createdprovided that the exercise of such copyright shall not prejudice the copyright in the joint work as a whole.

  Article 14 The copyright in a work created by compilation shall be enjoyed by the compilerprovided that the exercise of such copyright shall not prejudice the copyright in the preexisting works included in the compilation.

  The authors of such works included in a compilation as can be exploited separately shall be entitled to exercise their copyright in their works independently.

  Article 15 The directorscreenwriterlyricistcomposercameraman and other authors of a cinematographictelevision or video-graphic work shall enjoy the right of authorship in the workwhile the other rights included in the copyright shall be enjoyed by the producer of the work.

  The authors of screenplaymusical works and other works that are included in a cinematographictelevision or video-graphic work and can be exploited separately shall be entitled to exercise their copyright independently.

  Article 16 A work created by a citizen in the fulfillment of tasks assigned to him by a legal person or entity without legal personality shall be deemed to be a work created in the course of employment. The copyright in such a work shallsubject to the provisions of the second paragraph of this Articlebe enjoyed by the authorprovided that the legal person or entity without legal personality shall have a right of priority to exploit the work within the scope of its professional activities. During the two years after the completion of the workthe author may notwithout the consent of the legal person or entity without legal personalityauthorize a third party to exploit the work into the same way as the legal person or entity without legal personality does. The author of a work created in the course of employment in one of the following circumstances shall enjoy the right of authorshipwhile the legal person or entity without legal personality shall enjoy the other rights included in the copyright and may Reward the author

  (1) drawings of engineering designs and product designs and descriptions thereof; computer software; maps and other works created in the course of employment mainly with the material and technical resources of the legal person or entity without legal personality and under its responsibility;

  (2) works created in the course of employment where the copyright isin accordance with lawsadministrative rules and regulations or contracts concernedenjoyed by the legal person or entity without legal personality.

  Article 17 The ownership of copyright in a commissioned work shall be agreed upon in a contract between the commissioning and the commissioned parties. In the absence of a contract or of an explicit agreement in the contractthe copyright in such a work shall belong to the commissioned party.

  Article 18 The transfer of ownership of the original copy of a work of fine artor other worksshall not be deemed to include the transfer of the copyright in such workprovided that the right to exhibit the original copy of a work of fine art shall be enjoyed by the owner of such original copy.

  Article 19 Where the copyright in a work belongs to a citizenthe right of exploitation and the right to remuneration in respect of the work shallafter his deathduring the term of protection provided for in this Lawbe transferred in accordance with the provisions of the Law of Succession. Where the copyright in a work belongs to a legal person or entity without legal personalitythe right of exploitation and the right to remuneration shallafter the change or the termination of the legal person or entity without legal personalityduring the term of protection provided for in this Lawbe enjoyed by the succeeding legal person or entity without legal personality which has taken over the former's rights and obligationsorin the absence of such a successor entityby the state.

  Section 3 Term of Protection of Rights

  Article 20 The term of protection of the rights of authorshipalterationand integrity of an author shall be unlimited.

 Article 21 The term of protection of the right of publicationthe right of exploitation and the right to remuneration in respect of a work of a citizen shall be the life time of the author and fifty years after his deathexpiring on December 31 of the fiftieth year after his death. In the case of a work of joint authorshipsuch term shall expire on December 31 of the fiftieth year after the death of the last surviving author. The term of protection of the right of publicationthe right of exploitation and the right to remuneration in respect of a work where the copyright belongs to a legal person or entity without legal personalityor in respect of a work created in the course of employment where the legal person or entity without legal personality enjoys the copyright (except the right of authorship)shall be fifty yearsexpiring on December 31 of the fiftieth year after the first publication of such workprovided that any such work that has not been published within fifty years after the completion of its creation shall no longer be protected under this Law.

  The term of protection of the right of publicationthe right of exploitation and the right to remuneration in respect of a cinematographictelevisionvideo-graphic or photographic work shall be fifty yearsexpiring on December 31 of the fiftieth year after the first publication of such workprovided that any such work that has not been published within fifty years after the completion of its creation shall no longer be protected under this Law.

  Section 4 Limitations on Rights

  Article 22 In the following casesa work may be used without permission fromand without payment of remuneration tothe copyright ownerprovided that the name of the author and the title of the work shall be indicated and the other rights enjoyed by the copyright owner by virtue of this Law shall not be prejudiced

  (1) use of a published work of others for the user's own private studyresearch or self entertainment;

  (2) appropriate quotation from a published work of others in one's work for the purposes of introduction toor comment ona workor demonstration of a point;

  (3) use of a published work in newspapersperiodicalsradio programmestelevision programmes or newsreels for the purpose of reporting current affairs;

  (4) reprinting by newspapers or periodicalsor rebroadcasting by radio stations or television stationsof editorials or commentator's articles published by other newspapersperiodicalsradio stations or television stations;

  (5) publication in newspapers or periodicalsor broadcasting by radio stations or television stationsof a speech delivered at a public gatheringexcept where the author has declared that the publication or broadcasting is not permitted;

  (6) translation or reproduction in a small quantity of copiesof a published work for use by teachers or scientific researchersin classroom teaching or scientific researchprovided that the translation or reproduction shall not be published or distributed;

  (7) use of a published work by a state organ for the purpose of performing its official duties;

  (8) reproduction of a work in its collections by a libraryan archives centera memorial halla museuman art gallery or a similar institutionfor the purposes of displayor preservation of a copyof the work;

  (9) free performance of a published work;

  (10) copyingdrawingphotographingor video recording of an artistic work located or on display in an outdoor public place;

  (11) translation of a published work from the language of the Han nationality into minority nationality languages for publication and distribution in the country;

  (12) transliteration of a published work into Braille and publication of the work so transliterated.

  The above limitations on rights shall be applicable also to the rights of publishersperformersproducers of sound recordings and video recordingsradio stations and television stations.

  Chapter III Copyright Licensing Contracts

  Article 23 Anyone who exploits a work created by others shallexcept where no permission is required in accordance with the provisions of this Lawconclude a contract withor otherwise obtain permission fromthe copyright owner.

 Article 24 A contract shall include the following basic clauses

  (1) the manner of exploitation of the work covered by the license;

  (2) the exclusive or nonexclusive nature of the right to exploit the work covered by the license;

  (3) the scope and term of the license;

  (4) the amount of remuneration and the method of its payment;

  (5) the liability for breach of contract; and

  (6) any other matter which the contracting parties consider necessary.

  Article 25 Without permission from the copyright ownerthe other party to the contract shall not exercise the right which the copyright owner has not explicitly licensed in the contract.

  Article 26 The term of validity of a contract shall not exceed ten years. The contract may be renewed on expiration of that term. Article 27 The tariffs of remuneration for the exploitation of works shall be established by the copyright administration department under the State Council jointly with other departments concerned.

  Where otherwise agreed to in a contractremuneration may be paid in accordance with the terms of the said contract.

  Article 28 Publishersperformersproducers of sound recordings and video recordingsradio stationstelevision stations and other entities who or which havepursuant to this Lawobtained the right of exploitation included in the copyright of othersshall not prejudice such authors' rights of authorshipalterationintegrity and their right to remuneration.

  Chapter IV PublicationPerformanceSound RecordingVideo Recor- ding and Broadcasting

  Section 1 Publication of BooksNewspapers and Periodicals

  Article 29 A book publisher who publishes a book shall conclude a publishing contract withand pay remuneration tothe copyright owner.

  Article 30 A book publisher shallduring the term of the contracthave an exclusive right to publish the work delivered to him for publication by the copyright owner. The term of the exclusive right to publish the workenjoyed by the book publisher as specified in the contractshall not exceed ten years. The contract may be renewed on expiration of that term. The exclusive right to publish a work enjoyed by the book publisher shallduring the term specified in the contractbe protected by lawand the work may not be published by others.

  Article 31 The copyright owner shall deliver the work to the publisher within the time limit specified in the contract. The book publisher shall publish the work according to the quality requirements and within the time limit specified in the contract. The book publisher shall bear the civil liability in accordance with the provisions of Article 47 of this Law if he fails to publish the work within the time limit specified in the contract.

  The book publisher shall notifyand pay remuneration tothe copyright owner when the work is to be reprinted or republished. If the book publisher refuses to reprint or republish the work when the stocks of the book are exhaustedthe copyright owner shall have the right to terminate the contract.

  Article 32 Where a copyright owner has submitted the manuscript of his work to a newspaper or a periodical publisher for publication and has not received any notification of the said publisher's decision to publish the workwithin fifteen days from the newspaper publisher or within thirty days from the periodical publisher from the date of submission of the manuscriptthe copyright owner may submit the manuscript of the same work to another newspaper or periodical publisher for publication unless the two parties have agreed otherwise.

  After a work is published in a newspaper or a periodicalother newspaper or periodical publisher mayexcept where the copyright owner has declared that reprinting or excerpting is not permittedreprint the work or print an abstract of it or print it as reference materialbut such other publishers shall pay remuneration to the copyright owner as prescribed in regulations.

  Article 33 A book publisher may alter or abridge a work with the permission of the copyright owner. A newspaper publisher or periodical publisher may make editorial modifications and abridgments in a workbut shall not make any modifications in the content of the work unless permission has been obtained from the author.

  Article 34 When publishing a work created by adaptationtranslationannotationarrangement or compilation of a pre-existing workthe publisher shall pay remuneration both to the owner of the copyright in the work created by adaptationtranslationannotationarrangement or compilationand to the owner of the copyright in the original work.

  Section 2 Performance

 Article 35 A performer (an individual performer or a performing troupe) who for a performance exploits an unpublished work created by others shall obtain permission fromand pay remuneration tothe copyright owner.

  A performer who for a commercial performance exploits a published work created by others does not need permission frombut shallas prescribed by regulationspay remuneration to the copyright owner; such work shall not be exploited where the copyright owner has declared that such exploitation is not permitted.

  A performer who for a commercial performance exploits a work created by adaptationtranslationannotation or arrangement of a pre-existing work shall pay remuneration both to the owner of the copyright in the work created by adaptationtranslationannotation or arrangement and to the owner of the copyright in the original work. Where a performer performs a work created by others for the purpose of producing a sound recordingvideo recordingradio programme or television programmethe provisions of Article 37 and 40 of this Law shall apply.

  Article 36 A performer shallin relation to his performanceenjoy the right

  (1) to claim performer ship;

  (2) to protect the image inherent in his performance from distortion;

  (3) to authorize others to make live broadcasts; and

  (4) to authorize others to make sound recordings and video recordings for commercial purposesand to receive remuneration therefor.

  Section 3 Sound Recording and Video Recording

  Article 37 A producer of sound recordings whofor the production of a sound recordingexploits an unpublished work created by others shall obtain permission fromand pay remuneration tothe copyright owner. A producer of sound recordings whofor the production of a sound recordingexploits a published work created by othersdoes not need permission frombut shallas prescribed by regulationspay remuneration tothe copyright owner; such work shall not be exploited where the copyright owner has declared that such exploitation is not permitted. A producer of video recordings whofor the production of a video recordingexploits a work created by others shall obtain permission fromand pay remuneration tothe copyright owner.

  A producer of sound recordings or video recordings who exploits a work created by adaptationtranslationannotation or arrangement of a pre- existing work shall pay remuneration both to the owner of the copyright in the work created by adaptationtranslationannotation or arrangementand to the owner of the copyright in the original work.

  Article 38 When producing a sound recording or video recordingthe producer shall conclude a contract withand pay remuneration tothe performer.

  Article 39 A producer of sound recordings or video recordings shall have the right to authorize others to reproduce and distribute his sound recordings or video recordings and the right to receive remuneration therefor. The term of protection of such rights shall be fifty yearsexpiring on December 31 of the fiftieth year after the first publication of the recordings. A producer of sound recordings or video recordings who is authorized to reproduce and distribute a sound recording or video recording created by others shall also pay remuneration to the copyright owner and to the performer as prescribed by regulations.

  Section 4 Broadcasting by Radio Station or Television Station

  Article 40 A radio station or television station which exploitsfor the production of a radio or television programmean unpublished work created by othersshall obtain permission fromand pay remuneration tothe copyright owner.

  A radio station or television station which exploitsfor the production of a radio or television programmea published work created by others does not need permission from the copyright ownerbut such a work shall not be exploited where the copyright owner has declared that such exploitation is not permitted. In additionremuneration shall be paid as prescribed by regulations unless this Law provides that no remuneration needs to be paid.

 A radio station or television station which exploitsfor the production of a radio or television programmea work created by adaptationtranslationannotationor arrangement of a pre-existing workshall pay remuneration both to the owner of the copyright in the work created by adaptationtranslationannotation or arrangement and to the owner of the copyright in the original work.

  Article 41 When producing a radio or television programmethe radio station or television station shall conclude a contract withand pay remuneration tothe performer.

  Article 42 A radio station or television station shallin respect of a programme produced by itenjoy the right

  (1) to broadcast the programme;

  (2) to authorize others to broadcast the programmeand to receive remuneration therefor; and

  (3) to authorize others to reproduce and distribute the radio or television programmeand to receive remuneration therefor.

  The term of protection of the rights specified in the preceding paragraph shall be fifty yearsexpiring on December 31 of the fiftieth year after the first broadcasting of the programme.

  A producer of sound recordings or video recordings who is authorized to reproduce and distribute a radio or television programme shall also pay remuneration to the copyright owner and the performer as prescribed by regulations.

  Article 43 A radio station or television station may broadcastfor noncommercial purposesa published sound recording without seeking permission fromor paying remuneration tothe copyright ownerperformer and producer of the sound recording.

  Article 44 A television station which broadcasts a cinematographictelevision or video-graphic work produced by others shall obtain permission fromand pay remuneration tothe producer of the cinematographictelevision or video-graphic work.

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TypeInfo: Copyright Law

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