Draft amendments to Copyright Law released for public comment


The National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) released the first draft of proposed amendments to the Copyright Law in March for public comment. The amendments are intended to perfect the rights granted under the current regime, respond to scientific and technological developments, and adapt to global circumstances.


Major changes that are proposed by the draft include:

  • expanding the definition of “works” to include those that are in intangible form, and listing “applied art” as a new category of copyrightable works;
  • encouraging voluntary copyright registration by premising statutory damages on registration and confirming that the registration certificate is prima facie evidence of the truth of registered matters;
  • significantly extending the scope of statutory licensing, conditional upon (i) recordal of the licence with the NCAC, (ii) payment of royalties to the collective copyright management organisation, and (iii) indication of the original author and source of the material;
  • clarifying that internet service providers that provide purely technological services are not obliged to review content for copyright infringement, but will be held jointly liable with the internet user if it fails to take necessary action after receiving notice from the copyright owner, or has had actual or constructive knowledge of the infringing activities;
  • doubling the statutory damages to RMB1 million (US$157,000) and empowering local administrative enforcement agencies with measures of seizure, sealing up and confiscation while investigating copyright infringement cases.

Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Baker & McKenzie. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice. You can contact Zhang Danian (Shanghai) at Baker & McKenzie by e-mail at: [email protected]