Legal notes to copyright registration in China

copyright registration in China, copyright in China, China copyright registration, China copyright, file copyright in China, copyright registration, copyright, documents for copyright registration, IP Office, Copyright Law, procedure for copyright registration, copyright application,

Copyright registration in China. China, officially the People’s Republic of China, is a country in East Asia. China is the world’s largest economy by GDP at purchasing power parity, the second-largest economy by nominal GDP, and the world’s second-wealthiest country by total wealth. The country has a fast-growing major economy and is the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter. China is a recognized nuclear-weapon state with the world’s largest standing army by military personnel and second-largest defense budget. Accordingly, many businesses want to enter this market and one of the most important preparations a business needs to take before expanding to this country is to learn the procedure of copyright registration in China.

Copyright in China

Unlike other intellectual property rights such as trademarks, patents, industrial designs, plant varieties, etc., copyright does not need to be registered for protection but will be automatically protected from the time the works are created.

The creation must be visible in a certain material form, like content, quality, form, medium, language, published or unpublished, registered or unregistered.

Accordingly, whether registered or not, the copyright to the work will still be protected. However, copyright registration is still advised because early registration will give the author/owner of the work many advantages in the event of a dispute.

When unauthorized use of work occurs around the world, the owner of a work who has registered copyright in advance will not have to waste time and complicate matters with proving himself/herself to be the legitimate owner of the work.

Thereby, in order to avoid passivity, the owner of the work should make a copyright registration to protect their rights and interests when there is an infringement.

Copyright registration in China

China is a member country of The Berne Convention for Copyright since 1992.

The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (the Berne Convention) is an international agreement governing copyright. The agreement was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886.

As China is a contracting party of the Berne Convention, any work originating in China will be given the same copyright protection in each of the Berne Convention member countries. The original from China can be that the work is made and published for the first time in this country or if the author of the work is of China ethnicity.

While in most countries, copyright protection is automatic as soon as the work existed in material form, copyright registration in China is critical in order for the copyright owner to obtain evidence of copyright.

Evidence of copyright is extremely important even when copyright is obtained automatically.

When registering, the creation gets a date and a time stamp recorded, as well as information about the creation and proof of creative concept and development. This provides unambiguous proof of authorship and ownership that can’t be denied.

Proof of copyright is essential in an age when the publishing, dissemination, and theft of material is extremely easy with the exposure of the Internet.

If copyright registration is not made, copyright owners will lose a significant big amount of money and time attempting to fight copyright issues and prove ownership of the original work.

If the copyright owner has already registered for copyright protection to the IP office, they would have a strong legal foundation which would increase their chance of winning against the violating parties.

Documents for copyright registration in China

To obtain copyright registration in China, the author of the work needs to prepare the following documents:

  • Declaration of copyright registration in China;
  • Two copies of copyrighted work;
  • Documents proving the right to apply;
  • Written consent of co-authors, if the work has co-authors;
  • Written consent of the co-owners, if the copyright is jointly owned;
  • Notarized identity card of the author or owner of the work;
  • Power of Attorney, if the applicant is an authorized person;
  • Notarized copy of the company’s business registration certificate (if the owner is a company).

The copyright law of China

Intellectual property rights have been acknowledged and protected in China since the 1980s. China has acceded to the major international conventions on the protection of rights to intellectual property. Domestically, the protection of intellectual property law has also been established by government legislation, administrative regulations, and decrees in the areas of trademark, copyright, and patent.

The concept of copyright in China has been found to exist at least as far back as the Song dynasty (960–1279). The publishers of a work at that time wrote on the final page of a text that it could not be copied. The first modern official code was implemented in 1910 at the end of the Qing dynasty (1636–1912). A new version was issued in 1915 during the Warlord Era of the Republic of China.

On May 23, 1928, the Nationalist Government enacted a copyright law that covered books, music, paintings, photographs, engravings, and models. The copyright for most items existed for 30 years after the death of the author. Translations of literary works had a 20-year copyright and photographs had a 10-year copyright after publication. Corporate copyright existed for 30 years after publication.

The Peoples’s Republic of China abolished all statutes in 1949. A new formal copyright statute was not adopted until 1991. It was the Regulations on Implementation of International Copyright Treaties which was passed in 1992 as an effort to cope with the agreement in the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, as well as bilateral copyright treaties signed between the PRC and other foreign countries.

You can find a list of China IP firms here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *