Protecting Copyright in China
Produced in partnership with Laura Rose and Louisa Dixon of Taylor Vinters
Protecting Copyright in China

The following IP guidance note Produced in partnership with Laura Rose and Louisa Dixon of Taylor Vinters provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Protecting Copyright in China
  • Introduction
  • What is copyright?
  • Copyright ownership
  • Copyright registration
  • Copyright licensing and assignment
  • Copyright enforcement
  • Copyright and the internet
  • Conclusion

Introduction

Copyright is an IP right which protects a person's exclusive right to control how their original work is reproduced and dealt with by third parties. The main piece of legislation governing copyright law in China is the Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China (the 'Copyright Law'), which was adopted in 1990 and has since been amended in 2001 and in 2010. A set of new amendments were proposed in 2012 which have been released in draft form but which have since been put on hold. It is currently uncertain whether there will be a major amendment of the Copyright Law in the near future.

What is copyright?

Copyright is an IP right that protects a person's exclusive right to reproduce, publish or sell their original work. Copyright seeks to protect the expression of an idea rather than the idea itself. To be eligible for copyright protection the work must be original and reproducible.

Most types of works that can be protected by copyright in Europe can be protected by copyright in China. Creative works such as books, music, recordings, plays, films, paintings, sculptures and photographs are capable of copyright protection. Databases are also protected. It is unique to China that computer software is expressly protected under the Copyright Law.

Copyright is a collection of rights that are