Let’s count what were achieved in terms of China’s copyright development during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020).
I.Copyright Legal System
a.Copyright Law amended thirdly
In 2020, the Draft Amendment to Copyright Law, which was prepared by the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) in cooperation with other departments concerned, was submitted to the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee for deliberation. On November 11, 2020, the Decision on Amending the Copyright Law was adopted at the 23rd Session of NPC Standing Committee. The newly amended Copyright Law will come into force on June 1, 2021.
b. New normative documents introduced
NCAC issued new normative documents including but not limited to Work Guide on Legitimate Software Management, Notice on Strengthening the Copyright Management of Online Literary Works, Notice on Regulating the Registration Certificate of Electronic Works, Opinions on Strengthening the Administration of Resident Representative Offices of Overseas Copyright Certification Organizations in China, Notice on Regulating the Copyright Order of Photographic Works, and Notice on Further Examining and Determining the Evidence of Copyright Administrative Enforcement.
II.Copyright Enforcement and Supervision
Copyright administrative departments prioritized cracking down on infringing acts harmful to the public interest. A work mode, in which copyright departments combat infringement as the main body while other departments concerned closely cooperate and participate, took shape, and a new social governance pattern to protect copyright, in which the governments regulate, companies self-govern, industries self-regulate, and the public supervises, came into existence. These efforts provided strong legal and environmental support for the creation and dissemination of works as well as copyright industry development.
Over 13 thousand infringement cases were handled, and over 40 million infringed and pirated products were confiscated by copyright administrative enforcement departments.
a.Special rectifications against copyright infringement strengthened
NCAC, jointly with the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the Ministry of Public Security, launched “Jianwang” Campaigns to crack down on online infringement for five consecutive years. These campaigns aimed at rectifying copyright infringement in key areas such as online video, online music, online literature, online games, e-commerce platforms, social platforms, knowledge sharing platforms, online cloud storage, app stores, and online advertising alliances.
2,775 online infringement cases were handled, 7,763 infringement websites (APPs) closed down, and more than 6.9 million hyperlinks involved in infringement deleted by copyright enforcement departments, curbing the high incidence of online infringement.
b.Supervision over online copyright enhanced
Focused copyright supervision over large and medium-sized videos websites, literature websites and music websites continued, with requirement of removing films and television series whose licenses expire or authorized documents are not provided. The system of bulletin, inquiry and warning further improved, and the right holders were encouraged to establish a cooperation mechanism for copyright protection with Internet service providers.
42 pre-warning lists involving 678 key works were released by NCAC to protect the online dissemination of works including CCTV Spring Festival Gala and excellent domestic films. As a result, over 1 million piracy links was removed.
c.Collaboration in copyright enforcement advanced
Enforcement collaboration was stepped up inter-regionally by strengthening coordination with other law enforcement departments in charge of communications, cyberspace, public security, industry and commerce, and customs. Mechanisms of sharing important information were established, and cases were handled in a concentrated and timely manner. All these effectively dealt with the cross-regional large-scale or online infringement, and realized the all-around fight against the whole chain of infringement, forming a work mode, in which copyright departments as the main body combat infringement while other departments concerned closely cooperate and participate. The working mechanism linking administrative and criminal enforcement was strengthened, the system of law enforcement information sharing, case reporting, and case transfer improved, the problem such as “cases are not transferred” and “criminal responsibility is substituted with administrative fine” ended, so as to intensify the criminal crackdown on crimes of infringing copyright.
Over 1,100 criminal cases were transferred by copyright enforcement departments to judicial authorities for investigation.
d.Supervision over handling major cases of strengthened
Supervision over handling major cases of copyright infringement was strengthened by NCAC, in cooperation with the National Office for the Fight against Pornography and Illegal Publications, the Ministry of Public Security and Supreme People’s Procuratorate. In addition, key cases handled at local level were jointly supervised by multiple departments.
249 major infringement cases was handled under the supervision of NCAC and other departments.
e.Copyright enforcement inspected
From May to August, 2017, an inspection of the Copyright Law enforcement was inspected by NPC Standing Committee, with the support of NCAC. During the inspection, copyright-related enterprises and organizations, administrative and judicial organs, as well as experts and scholars were solicited for their opinions and suggestions, with an aim to know in depth the law’s implementation. This is NPC’s first large-scale inspection of the Copyright Law enforcement since the law’s promulgation.
f.Social governance promoted
The enthusiasm of industry associations, enterprises and right holders to protect copyright was aroused, and a new social governance pattern to protect copyright, in which the government regulates, companies self-govern, industries self-regulate, and the public supervises, came into existence. The advantage of associations and societies including, the Copyright Society of China (CSC), and the Anti-piracy Alliance formed by 15 Beijing-based book publishing houses and associations, were brought into full play. Under NCAC’ guidance, the Alliance of Online Literature Copyright, the Alliance of China News Media for Copyright Protection and the Alliance for Copyright Protection of Cinema were established, and statements or proposals issued by stakeholders to protect copyright or regulate themselves, in an effort to regulate industry development.
III.The Promotion of the Use of Legitimate Software
The use of legitimate software was consolidated in the organizations such as government departments, state-owned enterprises and financial institutions, and was promoted in the important sectors such as culture, education, health, press and publishing. The long-term work mechanism for promoting the use of legitimate software was improved, and the process of procuring legitimate software, managing, assessing and evaluating, and annually reporting its use was further standardized. All these efforts signaled China’s resolution and confidence in IPR protection. In particular, with improving copyright protection for software and supporting policies for software industry, software industry developed in a high-quality manner, enabling domestic office software to gain an international competitive edge, and domestic operating system, industrial design software and other key software to develop with a bright future.
In 2019, 1.4844 million pieces of computer software was registered, and the revenue from software business reached RMB 7.21 trillion. From 2016 to 2019, the registration of computer software and the revenue from software businesses grew at an average annual rate of 51.26% and 14.4%, respectively.
IV.Copyright Social Service
NCAC vigorously took advantage of demonstration effect by establishing copyright demonstration cities, units and parks nationwide. NCAC encouraged the creation and application of excellent works, and promoted market transaction and industrial application of copyright. With all these efforts, copyright industry as well as its added value continued to grow. The core copyright industries represented by press and publication, radio, film and television, cultural entertainment, arts and crafts, computer software and information network developed rapidly as the powerhouse of China’s copyright industry, reflecting the whole industry’s enhanced innovation ability and core competitiveness.
The added value of China’s copyright industry increased from RMB 5.45 trillion, 7.33% of GDP in 2016, to RMB 7.32 trillion, 7.39% of GDP in 2019.
a. Copyright registration system improved
Copyright registration increased rapidly, with the number of registered works and computer software meeting the target set in the 13th Copyright Five-Year Plan ahead of schedule.
Copyright registrations increased from 2 million in 2016 (1.59 million works and over 0.4 million pieces of computer software) to 4.18 million in 2019 (2.7 million works and 1.48 million pieces of computer software).
b.Copyright administrative approval and supervision strengthened
The five copyright collective management organizations (CMOs) were decoupled from but not deregulated by NCAC. After the decoupling, NCAC coordinated with the departments concerned to supervise and regulate CMOs. All the CMOs, with expanded membership, enhanced representativeness and improved service, explored the mode suitable for China’s national conditions, and basically met the needs of China’s economic and social development. In addition, NCAC coordinated with the departments concerned to approve and record the re-registration of the representative offices in China of six overseas copyright certification bodies, according to laws. These representative offices contributed a lot in copyright laws formulation and revision, “Jianwang” special campaign, copyright publicity activities, overseas copyright certification, international copyright exchanges and so on.
c. Copyright demonstration work advanced
NCAC granted a new batch of national copyright demonstration cities, units and parks (bases), which brought into full play their guiding roles in innovating independently and effectively, promoting regional economic transformation and upgrading, and developing copyright industry. The demonstration helped industry develop by drawing upon others’ experience, and enhanced the public awareness of copyright protection.
As of December 31, 2020, 12 cities, 145 units and 37 parks were granted the titles of national copyright demonstration cities, units or parks.
d. National copyright exchange centers and trade bases expanded
The National Copyright Exchange Centre Alliance, formed by the exchange centers and trade bases, gradually played a gathering and synergistic role in copyright trading, evaluation and financing.
As of December 31, 2020, there were 16 national copyright exchange centers and trade bases.
e. National Copyright Innovation-driven Development Bases established as pilot efforts
In order to implement the strategic decisions on the construction of the Guangdong-Hongkong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta and the construction of free trade zones, give full play to the inherent innovative characteristics of copyright and increase the level of copyright efforts, National Copyright Innovation-driven Development Bases were established respectively in Qianhai Shenzhen-Hongkong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone of Shenzhen and Pudong New Area of Shanghai.
f.National Copyright Expo Licensing System improved
The National Copyright Expo Licensing System, which is led by China International Copyright Expo and supported by local copyright expos, trade fairs and licensing expos, was established in a bid to push forward the application and value transformation of copyright.
At present, major local or industrial copyright exhibitions include International Copyright Fair in Qingdao, Jiangsu (Nanjing) Copyright Trade Fair, IP Global Licensing Conference in Beijing, China International Animation Copyright Fair (Dongguan), and Chengdu International Digital Copyright Expo.
g.Policy support provided
NCAC cooperated with other departments concerned to formulate policies on IP pledge and financing and pilot IP securitization in such documents as the Notice on Further Strengthening the Pledge and Financing of Intellectual Property Rights, the General Plan for the Construction of Hainan Free Trade Port, and the Notice of the State Council on Replicating and Promoting the Experience of the Sixth Round of Pilot Reform of Pilot Free Trade Zones.
h. All-round publicity system established
NCAC took “National Intellectual Property Publicity Week on April 26” as an important platform, major copyright events as opportunities, and news media as main channels, and training, lectures, reports, artistic performances, street consultation, television public service announcements, and posters as main means, to publicize copyright protection knowledge.
V.International Copyright Exchanges and Cooperation Deepened
a. New multilateral and bilateral copyright relations with win-win cooperation as the core established
NCAC actively and prudently dealt with bilateral and multilateral copyright affairs, further expanded cooperation models, and strengthened cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). NCAC was also deeply involved in the negotiations, consultations and implementation of the China-US Economic and Trade Consultations, the China-UK Financial and Economic Dialogue, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the China-Japan-ROK Free Trade Agreement. NCAC properly handled bilateral affairs with key countries and regions such as the EU, US, the UK, Japan and ROK, expanded copyright cooperation with countries related to the “Belt and Road” Initiative, and improved the mechanism for dealing with foreign-related copyright issues.
b. Involvement in international copyright rule making deepened
NCAC continued to deepen exchanges and cooperation with WIPO and other international organizations, and actively involved in the reform of the global copyright governance system by promoting China’s ratification of Marrakesh Treaty, advancing the negotiation of international treaties on the protection of broadcasting organizations, on the limitations and exceptions for libraries, archives and educational institutions, and on the protection of traditional cultural expression, and completing negotiations on the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters. In particular, NCAC promoted the entry into force of Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances on April 28, 2020 which is the first international IP treaty to be concluded in China and named after a Chinese city since the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), marking an important milestone both in the field of international IP protection and in the development of China’s IP cause.
c. Foreign-related copyright protection enhanced
NCAC conducted research on risk prevention and control for copyright industries going global, and cooperated with WIPO to train the industry personnel in this regard. NCAC also conducted research with UK Intellectual Property Office and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea to protect the overseas rights and interests of Chinese copyright enterprises and safeguard their foreign copyright trade.
d. Foreign publicity in the field of copyright improved
NCAC made China’s copyright development internationally visible via its English website and cooperation activities with other countries. With the support of WIPO, NCAC introduced to the world China’s best practices of advancing copyright industry development through strengthened copyright protection, for example, by having an exhibition of copyright protection for Chinese Dehua porcelain industry at WIPO Geneva headquarters. By celebrating and publicizing major copyright events such as the entry into force of Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, NCAC showed to the world the real and comprehensive copyright progress in China and further enhanced China’s visibility in international copyright community.