National legislators and experts on
intellectual property rights have welcomed stronger protection of online
copyrights and harsher punishments for copycats in newly released draft
amendments to existing law while suggesting that some new types of
infringements in cyberspace be further studied.
current Chinese Copyright Law has neither caught up with economic,
technological and cultural growth nor solved new problems in the
industry," said Li Rui, a member of the Standing Committee of the
National People's Congress. "So it's urgent and necessary to revise the
Li's remarks follow the
advice of the NPC Standing Committee, the country's top legislature,
which deliberated on draft revisions to the law late last month.
current law, which has been in effect for 30 years, had played an
important role in encouraging innovation and protecting copyrights, Li
said, "but it cannot give more legal support to new types of online
copyrights, let alone end related disputes, even though it was amended
in 2001 and 2010".
released by the China Internet Network Information Center last month
showed that there were 904 million internet users across the country by
March, up 75.08 million compared with the end of 2018.
witnessing a significant rise in the number of netizens, the nation is
also seeing a big increase of IP-related conflicts online, especially
From Sept 9,
2018, to March 31, for example, the Beijing Internet Court filed 42,121
cases on online IP rights, more than 99 percent of which involved online
copyrights need stronger and quicker protection because more works,
including novels, pictures and videos, are emerging online, and because
of how fast information spreads on the internet," said Kang Lixia, a
lawyer specializing in IP-related disputes at Beijing Conzen Law Firm.
the online infringement cannot be stopped in a timely manner, the
works' creators will face greater economic losses, as collecting
evidence online for them is also a big challenge," she said, adding that
highlighting protections for online copyrights in the latest draft is
"essential and urgent".
draft's full text has been published on the website of the NPC Standing
Committee, which is soliciting opinions from the public and authorities.
also applauded the increased punishments in the draft, saying they
posed a bigger threat to copyright violators and a more effective
measure against piracy.
stipulates that if a copyright owner clarifies the cost of using his or
her works, people using the works without paying or those deliberately
infringing on the copyright will be ordered to pay five times the cost
In cases where
the cost of infringing on a copyright is not clear or when the loss to
copyright holders and benefits gained by infringers cannot be
determined, the draft raises the ceiling for compensation that pirates
will have to pay to 5 million yuan ($706,000), up from 500,000 yuan.
harsher punishment is fact-based and will improve the innovation,
protection and application of copyrights," said Li Xueyong, another
member of the NPC Standing Committee.
he added that the draft still needs to be further amended, balancing
copyright protection, technological innovation and internet development.
legislator Yang Zhijin agreed, saying "we should give more respect to
copyrights and also prevent those rights from being abused.
other words, we need to pay more attention to improving the draft so we
can find better ways to protect copyrights while ensuring that works
can be safely placed online."
Xiuwen, a senior lawmaker, said there were a few problems-such as how
to protect copyrights on livestreaming platforms and whether works made
by robots should be safeguarded-that still had no clear solution, "which
requires us to conduct further studies and promote the draft in a