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Copyright Registrations of China: Facts and Figures 2020

In 2020, the local copyright authorities and copyright registration agencies across the nation attached great importance to the registration of copyright, resolutely overcame the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, further improved the system and optimized the mechanism, and improved the effectiveness of copyright registration. The number of copyright registrations continued to grow, and copyright registration across the nation reached a new level with a total of 5,039,543 copyrights registration, up 20.37% compared with that in 2019.

1.Registration of Copyright Works

According to the statistics of works registration from copyright bureaus of various provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government and Copyright Protection Center of China, there were 3,316,255 registration on works in 2020, up 22.75% over the previous year.

China’s works registration witnessed a steady upward trend. Specifically, the following authorities registered relatively more than their counterparts: Beijing (1,004,676 pieces, 30.30% ); Shanghai (318,906 pieces, 9.62%); Copyright Protection Center of China (290,693 pieces, 8.77%);Jiangsu (281,984pieces, 8.50% ); Tianjin (213,415 pieces, 6.44%); Shandong (201,181 pieces, 6.07%). The total cases of copyright registered by the foregoing authorities added up to 69.70% of the national aggregate. Compared with 2019, Gansu, Yunnan, Guizhou, Tianjin, Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Ningxia, Shandong and Anhui all saw a growth rate exceed 100%, while Jilin, Jiangxi and Hunan saw a growth of over 50% in copyright registration for works.

In terms of the types of works, photographic works were registered in the largest number, standing at 1,510,914, accounting for 45.56% of the total. They are followed by works of fine arts (1,295,415 pieces, 39.06%), written works (212,797 pieces, 6.42% ) and film and television works (191,332 pieces, 5.77%) in decreasing order of the number of pieces registered. The above types of works accounted for 96.81% of the total number of copyright registration. 28,765 sound recordings (0.87%), 16,478 musical works (0.50%),  14,765 graphic works (0.45%), 6,185 video recordings (0.19%), 39,604 models, dramatic, quyi (Chinese folk art), architectural and other works (1.19%) were respectively registered.

2. Registration of Copyright in Computer Software

According to the statistics of computer software copyright registration of Copyright Protection Center of China, copyrights for 1,722,904 pieces of computer software  were registered in 2020, up 16.06% over the previous year.

In terms of regional territory, the registrations are concentrated in the eastern China areas, with registrations for approximate 1.15 million pieces of computer software, accounting for 66.8% of the total. Among them, around 790,000 pieces were registered in Guangdong, Beijing, Jiangsu and Shanghai, accounting for about 68.7% of the total of the eastern region.

From the perspective of regional growth, the western region grew at the fastest rate with 37.3%, about 21 percentage points higher than the nation’s average growth rate; the central region, the northeast region and the eastern region grew by 25.0%, 21.9% and 10.5% respectively.

In terms of registration province, Guangdong, Beijing, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Shandong, Sichuan, Henan, Fujian and Tianjin, in a decreasing order, registered relatively more software than other provinces/autonomous regions/municipalities directly under the Central Government. As a whole, they registered a total of 1.24 million pieces of software, accounting for 71.8% of the national total. In particular, Guangdong registered more than 240,000 pieces, covering 13.8% of the national aggregate.

3. Registration of Copyright Pledges

According to the statistics of copyright pledge registration of Copyright Protection Center of China, in 2020, there were 384 copyright pledges registered, a drop of 28.49% over 2019; involving 341 contracts, down 10.50%; 1,231 works, down 23.06%; principal debt of 4.058766 billion yuan, down 46.90%; and collateral value of 3.925243 billion yuan, down 46.24%.

Specifically, 327 copyright pledges involving computer software were registered, down 9.42% year on year. They covered 327 contracts, down 9.42%; 1,174 works, down 17.56%; principal debt of 3.797342 billion yuan, down 45.73%; and collateral value of 3.669415 billion yuan, down 45.06%, all on a year-on-year basis.

57 copyright pledges involving non-computer-software works were recorded, down 67.62% year on year. They concerned 14 contracts, down 30%; 57 works, down 67.62%; principal debt of 261.424 million yuan, down 59.56%; and collateral value of 255.828 million yuan, down 58.89%, all on a year-on-year basis.


Source: Excerpt from “the Notification of NCAC on Copyright Registrations in 2020”