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2018 Sino-Japan Copyright Seminar Was Held in Shanghai

On Dec. 21, the 2018 Sino-Japan Copyright Seminar, jointly co-hosted by the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) and Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs, was held in Shanghai. Yu Cike, Director General of Copyright Department of NCAC, and Toshiya Naito, Minister of Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs, attended the seminar and delivered speeches. More than 80 guests from Chinese and Japanese governments and industries discussed topics such as “copyright protection system construction in digital environments” and “industrial practice of copyright protection in digital environments”.

Yu Cike said in his address that digital technologies had brought a series of new issues and new challenges to the protection and development of copyright. Promoting the establishment of a more balanced and effective copyright protection system is a new issue jointly confronted by the international community. The Chinese government, with a more open attitude and broader horizons, will take more active measures to exchange and share all information, experience, and suggestions that can contribute to the development of copyright systems to advance the continuous development of Sino-Japan copyright cooperation.

Toshiya Naito introduced Japan’s latest revisions of its copyright law and said that in the content industry, China and Japan had a lot of cooperation and the cooperation channel is very smooth: when Japan discovers copyright-infringing piracy links, Chinese video network platforms such as Youku and Tudou can delete them to a degree of nearly 100%. He hoped that through this seminar, China and Japan can have deeper cooperation and exchange at more levels of their governments, institutions, enterprises, etc.

During the seminar, Akihiko Noda, Piracy Countermeasure Officer of International Copyright Office of Copyright Department of Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs, first introduced the Agency’s responsibilities for cracking down on piracy. He pointed out that in Japan, copyright-infringing pirate contents released by websites are also a problem plaguing Japanese regulators. For example, on the same day that a new novel published by Haruki Murakami became available in paperback versions in bookstores, pirate version links appeared on the Internet, with very elaborate webpage design. To tackle this problem, the Japanese government will strengthen countermeasures against piracy and try to find technical solutions.

Prof. Wang Qian from East China University of Political Science and Law, an advisor to the international copyright research base of the NCAC, introduced China’s legislation and administrative protection of copyright. Through instances, he illustrated the differences between the right of distribution and the right of communication of information on networks in China’s copyright law. He also introduced the fact that the NCAC and relevant departments had carried out a special operation called Jianwang Campaign for 14 consecutive years to crack down on online piracy, which had significantly improved China’s copyright environment. He stressed that the number of paying users of Chinese video websites has been going up year by year; for example, the number of paying users of Tencent Video has reached 82 million, which is attributable to the effectiveness of the Jianwang Campaign in cracking down on pirate video websites.

Recently, Beijing UniTrust Tech. Service Co. Ltd won the WIPO-NCAC Award for Copyright Protection. During this seminar, the company’s chairman Zhang Changli introduced how the “trusted timestamp” used electronic data to help copyright owners protect their rights. The trusted timestamp is used to prove the existence of electronic data (electronic files) at a certain time point with complete unaltered contents. It resolves doubts as to whether an electronic data file has been tampered with or forged as well as doubts about the creation time during the verification of electronic evidence. So far, this technology has been widely adopted by courts.

Kenro Gotou, representative director and president of Japan’s Content Overseas Distribution Association (CODA), introduced CODA’s measures to tackle copyright infringement and promote the circulation of authorized editions. He said the spread of pirate versions on the internet was very fast, and pirates used many methods to avoid supervision. To tackle online piracy, CODA cooperates with multiple institutions to adopt a series of measures: for example, they let security software send warnings to users to tell them not to access piracy websites; they require Google, Yahoo, and other search engines to stop displaying piracy websites in search results. Besides, three major Japanese advertising groups share a list of copyright-infringing websites and refuse to publish advertisements on these websites. With regard to the cross-border operation of piracy websites and the upcoming big environment of the 5G era, Kenro Gotou said, “Our environment may become more challenging.”

Ren Yibiao, chairman of the operating institution of the National Copyright Trade Base, introduced the responsibilities and operations of the National Copyright Trade Base (Shanghai). He said as of Dec. 2018, more than 1000 cultural creation enterprises had settled in the base; these enterprises had attracted RMB 54.7 billion investments; the annual trade culture volume had reached RMB 35 billion. The base organizes enterprises to participate in copyright trade fairs, organizes professional training, provides professional information, and carries out research practice to provide member enterprises with copyright services.

Tang Zhaozhi, Deputy Director General of Copyright Department of NCAC, also attended the seminar. In 2002, the NCAC and Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs signed the MOU for China-Japan Strategic Cooperation on Copyright Protection (Departmental and Bureau Levels), and in 2005, they jointly launched a Sino-Japan governmental talk mechanism on copyright protection. In March 2010, at the proposition of the Japanese side, China and Japan upgraded their MOU level by signing the MOU for China-Japan Strategic Cooperation on Copyright Protection (Ministerial Level), agreeing to carry out extensive copyright cooperation, take turns to hold annual governmental talks on copyright protection, and hold seminars for joint copyright issues. In recent years, under the framework of the MOU, both sides have adhered to their annual work plans to actively carry out work such as mutual delegation visits, governmental talks, seminars, round-table meetings, etc. to effectively promote communication and cooperation in the copyright field. This latest seminar is an activity held under this framework. In accordance with customary practice, the host also successfully held 2018 Sino-Japan Governmental Talks on Copyright.

Author:Sui Mingzhao
Updated: December 21, 2018