China to revise copyright law draft amendment

Updated: 2012-05-18 21:55


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BEIJING - The National Copyright Administration (NCA) will revise a draft amendment to copyright law that has stirred controversy since being circulated to seek public opinion, it was announced on Friday.

The NCA has received 1,560 pieces of feedback concerning 81 articles in the draft amendment since it was published on March 31, according to the administration.

It will therefore revise it based on opinions from the public and a committee of experts and try to publish it again to seek public opinion by the end of this month, an NCA official said.

The draft amendment has triggered heated discussion among members of the public. It also drew wide attention from trade organizations and businesses from the United States, the European Union, Britain and Japan, as well as from Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Public feedback mostly concerned statutory licensing, collective management of copyright, the review obligations of network service providers, the legal liability of non-exclusive license users, compensation for damages and registration of copyright and related rights.

Chinese music writers have also expressed their anger as they believe the draft will diminish their professional rights if passed.

Article 46 of the document stipulates that sound recording producers may use a music work from another record product, providing it has already been published for more than three months, in their own records without having to obtain consent from the copyright holder, as long as they report to relevant government authorities and pay fair compensation.

Moreover, the draft provides that if the copyright holder does not state otherwise, the royalty for such use will be collected through copyright collective management organizations.

Music writers have complained that the draft is a possible deprivation of music writers' copyright interests.

Industry insiders have also expressed worry that the provisions will make record companies less willing to invest in music record promotion.

However, some legal experts have suggested the writers have misunderstood the draft and are overreacting.