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“International Forum on Copyright: Protecting the Rights of Creators and Promoting the Development of Culture and Film Industry”
was Held in Shanghai

On June 19, the “International Forum on Copyright: Protecting the Rights of Creators and Promoting the Development of Culture and Film Industry” was held in Shanghai during the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival. This event was co-hosted by the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and organized by Shanghai Copyright Bureau. Hundreds of guests including heads of copyright authorities, ambassadors to China, WIPO officials, representatives from foreign-related copyright certification organizations, organizations for collective administration of copyright and copyright enterprises, as well as rights owners from nearly 30 countries including France, the UK, Mexico, South Korea, Colombia, Kenya and Mali attended this event. Guests discussed the rights protection of performers, and exchanged views on the future of copyright protection and film industry. They agreed that copyright management was the backbone of the film industry. Zhou Huilin, Vice Minister of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China (SAPPRFT) and National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC), and Sylvie Forbin, Deputy Director General of WIPO attended and addressed the opening ceremony.

Zhou Huilin noted that, NCAC and WIPO hoped that this copyright and film-themed forum held during the Shanghai International Film Festival can bring together copyright and film representatives worldwide. This forum would serve as a platform, on which guests can share ideas and views, deepen understanding, expand common ground and promote cooperation, and discuss what copyright protection truly means to the film and other cultural and creative industries. By doing so, the creation and transmission of film and other copyright works on a global scale may become easier, and the sustainable development of the film and other cultural and creative industries may be realized.

Sylvie Forbin said that WIPO and NCAC had maintained good cooperation. The purpose for the two sides to join force in this international forum was to explore how to carry out copyright protection worldwide and find a way for the positive development of the global film industry. WIPO has been tracking China’s film and television industry that has greatly boosted China’s economy in recent years. According to the data released by Oxford Economics in 2015, the film and television industry contributed 146 billion yuan to China’s GDP in 2014 and created 970,000 direct jobs, with 39 billion yuan tax revenue generated. China has become a model for the world in the development of the film industry and showed the world how to take full advantage of technology and innovation in this field.

Yu Cike, Director General of Copyright Department of NCAC, noted that China’s box office returns exceeded 46 billion yuan in 2016. At present, China has more than 44,000 film projection screens, ranking top in the world, which promises great market potential and development space of Chinese film. With the continuous development of communication technology, movie transmission has been never easier, which gives birth to more diverse movie utilization and movie business. Hence, the rights protection of copyright owners is becoming more and more important. Though copyright owners get paid from movie transmission and utilization, benefit sharing thereof is barely fair. Also, unauthorized dissemination and other piracy remain rampant. In this context, how to balance the benefit distribution among copyright owners, copyright users and the public, and give due recognition and respect to copyright owners becomes an issue. This is essential for the positive development of the film industry.

Xu Jiong, Director of Shanghai Municipal Press and Publication Bureau (Shanghai Municipal Copyright Bureau), Wu Xiaoming, Artistic Director of Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film and Television, and other representatives also attended and addressed the opening ceremony. They indicated that this forum was an important part of the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival. Since the release of the Several Policies on Promoting Shanghai Film Development in 2014, Shanghai has made great efforts to build a whole industry chain for the film industry and achieved remarkable results. However, the cluster effect of the film industry in Shanghai is not prominent, and there is ample room for improvement of copyright creation, use, protection and management. It was expected that this forum would gather government officials, experts and scholars and outstanding business representatives from copyright field of different countries, who would propose valuable advices for the development of Chinese film.

Michael Ellis, President and Managing Director of the Asia-Pacific region for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), analyzed that China’s film market experienced extremely rapid development in 2016, which caught the attention of the world’s film companies. The rapid development of the film industry cannot be separated from law, policy and technology supports. Thanks to the evolution of digital technology, 95% users now use cell phone for Internet access. The network has greatly facilitated movie transmission, but also made it easier for the commission of piracy. Nowadays, new technologies bring new challenges to the film industry, and new strategies should be put in place to protect creators’ intellectual property rights. If the law and policy can keep up with the development of technology, the creative value of film will be recognized by more people.

In this two-day forum, Wang Qian, Professor from the Intellectual Property School, the East China University of Political Science and Law, Manuel Guerra Zamarro, General Director of the Mexican Copyright Office, Yang Xianghua, Senior Vice President of iQIYI.com, Isabelle Glachant, Representative of Unifrance Films Beijing Office, Tim Handte, Director of the School of Education and Talent, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Kang Minah, Director of Culture and Trade, the Copyright Bureau of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, Wu Guanyong from Shanghai Firstbrave Information Technology Co., Ltd., Li Jinji, Senior Vice President of Alibaba Pictures Group Limited, and other guests made in-depth discussion on topics including the 21st century copyright and film: laws, policies and technologies; the important role of the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances; the new trading patterns and platforms for film distribution and consumption; the new opportunities for the film industry in the digital age; and the management of copyright and related rights in the digital environment.

Update: June 19, 2017