Favorable policies for protection of copyright were introduced constantly in the new era
The report of the 19th National Congress of the CPC pointed out: “foster a culture of innovation, and strengthen the creation, protection, and application of intellectual property", which has established the general tone for administrating and managing intellectual property (including copyright) affairs in the new era, and the copyright administration and management sustain sound development. In January, the State Council issued the Plan for Protection and Utilization of Intellectual Property Rights in the 13th Five-Year Plan Period and the National Copyright Administration of China issued the 13th Five-Year Plan for Copyright Protection. In November, the first session of the Leadership Group of the 19th Central Committee of the CPC on Deepening Reform approved the Opinions on Several Issues Concerning Reform and Innovation of the Judicial Domain of Intellectual Property Rights. Hence, a series of macroeconomic policies have been promulgated to inject a strong vitality for developing China's copyright industry and provide a guarantee for the construction of an innovation-oriented country with massive high-quality copyrights.
The NPC Standing Committee carried out inspections over copyright law enforcement
In 2017, the NPC Standing Committee conducted the inspection on copyright law enforcement in which, a delegation, led by Wang Chen, Vice Chairman of NPC, had carried out inspections in five provinces and cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Fujian, Guangdong and Qinghai, and meanwhile, it entrusted local People’s Congress Standing Committee in 10 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities such as Tianjin, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Chongqing, Guizhou, Sichuan and others to carry out inspections over the enforcement of the copyright law within their respective jurisdictions. This is the largest law enforcement inspection since the promulgation of the copyright law in 1991. It is also of great significance to enhance people’s awareness of copyright conception, boost the level of copyright protection, and promote development of the copyright industry and revision of copyright law in the whole society.
The National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) pushed forward the order of network music copyright
Since 2015 when the copyright of network music became a focus in the remediation of the order of network music copyright, NCAC has invited major online music service providers and domestic and foreign music companies to talk in response to the phenomenon of snatching exclusive copyright and driving up costs of copyright licensing, which are detrimental to widespread dissemination of music and healthy development of the online music industry. NCAC required online music works to be authorized in a broadest way in order to avoid exclusive license, and to guide to explore and establish a good online music copyright authorization mechanism and operation mode that is in line with the market-oriented and international practices, so to jointly promote a healthy and orderly development of the online music industry. The major online music service providers actively responded and authorized each other, which helps to improve the order of the online music copyright market.
China's core copyright industry is developed rapidly
In 2017, industries of internet technologies such as news and publishing, radio, film and television, software design, animation and games have sped up the integration and development which promotes rapid development of the core copyright industries. Among them, the movie box office exceeded RMB 55.9 billion yuan with "Wolf Warrior 2" taking the lead with RMB 5.68 billion yuan; the game industry’s overall operating revenue was about RMB 218.86 billion yuan with an increase of 23.1%. According to the survey data of Economic Contribution of China's Copyright Industries in 2016 released by Chinese Academy of Press and Publication, the GDP created by the copyright industry accounted for 7.33% of China's GDP in 2016, of which, the GDP generated by the core copyright industries accounted for 4.58% of the total GDP and 62% of all the copyright industry, with an average annual growth rate of 13.4%. The rapid development of the core copyright industries has played an important supporting role in promoting the economic and cultural development of our country.
Jianwang Campaign shows an prominent role in network copyright protection
In 2017, NCAC, Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the PRC jointly conducted the thirteenth special online campaign Jianwang Campaign to crack down piracy infringement. The copyright law enforcement agencies at all levels, working together with the agencies of Cyberspace Administration, Industry and Information Technology and Public Security, had examined 63,000 websites, shut down 2,554 infringing websites, ordered removing 710,000 infringing links, confiscated 2.76 million infringing products, investigated 543 cases of online piracy infringements, and together with the public security agency, investigated 57 criminal cases with the amount of RMB 107 million Yuan involved, while publically releasing 20 typical cases of internet infringement and piracy. With the continuous operation of the campaign for 13 years, the phenomenon of rampant infringement and piracy cases has been contained down and the environment for online copyright has improved, highlighting the prominent role of the online copyright protection campaign.
Eleven intellectual property courts were set up nationwide
In 2017, the Supreme Court approved to establish 11 special intellectual property courts in 11 cities i.e. Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Jinan, Fuzhou, Qingdao, Hefei, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Shenzhen that have cross-regional jurisdictions, to promote uniformity of criterions and standards for trial of intellectual property cases and improve trial quality. The establishment of 11 IP courts has led to the formation of a "3 + 11" trial venue pattern used for IP case trial which is composed of three intellectual property courthouses in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and 11 IP trial courts. It is significant to further improve the judicial protection system and enhance the judicial protection of intellectual property including copyright.
The Alliance of China News Media for Copyright Protection was established
News works are core resources of news media. The copyright protection of news works has been highly valued by all circles. On April 26, 2017, 10 Chinese central news organizations, including People's Daily, Xinhua News Agency, CCTV and ChinaSo.com, initiated to establish the "Union of China News Media for Copyright Protection" at the 2017 China Internet Copyright Protection Conference sponsored by NCAC, and released the Declaration of the Alliance of China News Media for Copyright Protection. Besides the 10 alliance initiators, 122 newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations across the country released the Statement on Enhancing the Copyright Protection of News Works, clearly stating their firm stand on the protection of copyright. Subsequently, the National Copyright Protection Alliance of the Provincial Party Newspaper Groups and the Copyright Protection Alliance of Chinese Financial and Economic Media were all established one after another. The traditional media has been united to maintain the copyright of their news works.
Software legalization promotes software industry development
In 2017, the Inter-departmental Joint Conference on Promoting the Use of Legitimate Software has strengthened the overall coordination, and enhanced service guidance and supervision and inspection. The promotion to use legitimate software has yielded new fruits. The Party and government organs at all levels purchased a total of 1,277,000 operating systems, office and anti-virus software. Central enterprises and financial institutions purchased a total of 2,451,100 sets of operating systems, office and anti-virus software. Nationally, 37,667 enterprises have adopted genuine software. The Inter-ministerial Joint Conference had inspected a total of 389 entities, and checked 26,989 units of computer. The role of the Party and government organs and large and medium-sized enterprises in taking the lead to use legitimate software has played a very good demonstration to enhance the software innovation capability continuously, and as a result, the number of software copyright registration increased substantially. In 2017, the number of software copyright registrations reached 745,400 with an increase of 83 %. The revenue from software and information technology services reached RMB 5.5 trillion yuan, an increase of 13.9%.
The role of judicial trial on copyright protection increases steadily
In 2017, the people’s courts heard and effectively resolved many types of copyright disputes. The judiciary has played an increasingly important role in copyright protection. For instance, in the case of Tencent suing Baofeng.com for pirates of "The Voice of China (Part III)", the court found that Baofeng constitutes an infringement, and ordered the company pay Tencent a compensation of over RMB 1 million yuan for each episode, totally RMB 6.06 million yuan for 6 episodes, setting a new record in Beijing area in regards to the compensation for a single-episode of variety show. Besides, in the case of NetEase suing YY for infringement of copyright and unfair competition, the court made it clear that the live stream video games constitutes a copyright infringement to the electronic game, ordering the defendant pay the plaintiff an economic losses of RMB 20 million yuan, which set the record of maximum amount of compensation for online game infringement up to date. With the rising amount of compensation, the judicial role in copyright protection has been continuously strengthened.
AI creation brings up new copyright challenges
The year 2017 is the epoch of artificial intelligence. AI has demonstrated its talents in areas such as news writing, literature. In May, the "Sunshine Lost its Windows”, known as the first poetry anthology completely created by AI in the history of mankind, was published by Beijing United Publishing Co.,Ltd. The massive emergence of AI works and the predictable rapid growth have triggered heated discussions on the issues of AI work’s copyrightability and ownership, which became a hot topic in the copyright theory circle in 2017.
Update: March 5, 2018