Recommended Reading

Experts laud tougher copyright draft law

Updated: Apr 28, 2020 By Cao Yin China Daily Print
Share - WeChat

Experts on intellectual property rights protection applauded increased compensation for copyright infringements in a newly released draft law, viewing it as a bigger threat to copycats and a stronger tool to fight piracy.

In the draft revision to the Chinese Copyright Law, 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 compensation.

Meanwhile, the ceiling for compensation that pirates will face has been increased to 5 million yuan ($706,000) in the draft-up from 500,000 yuan-when the cost of infringing on a copyright is not clear or when the loss to copyright holders and benefits gained by violators cannot be determined.

The draft was submitted to the ongoing bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, for first reading on Sunday. Usually, a draft law requires three reviews by the legislative body before being adopted.

"Raising the compensation as a heavier punishment will be effective in deterring copycats, especially those in cyberspace, as it's easier to plagiarize works online and the infringement cost is also much lower than it is in traditional ways," Liu Bin, an IP lawyer from Beijing Zhongwen Law Firm, said on Monday after reading the draft.

He gave a thumbs-up to the 5 million yuan for undetermined damages in the draft, adding that the current 500,000-yuan compensation is not a large amount of money for copyright violators compared with their illicit gains.

Liu Junhai, a law professor at Renmin University of China, agreed.

"The key to copyright protection is to make sure the penalty is higher than the gains from violations," the professor said.

Besides the harsher punishment, the draft has added protection for new types of works in the internet era, including short videos, livestreaming and online dramas, "which I think is urgent and essential," said Kang Lixia, a lawyer specializing in IP-related disputes at the Beijing Conzen Law Firm.

"Copyright of these new online works needs quicker protection because of how fast information spreads on the internet, and because of bigger challenges in collecting evidence that will create greater losses to the works' creators if the infringement is not stopped in a timely manner," she explained.

Kang also said the earlier the draft is adopted, the better the country will solve copyright cases, which have made up about 60 percent of IP-related disputes in recent years.

The Copyright Law was put into effect in 1991 and amended in 2001 and 2010.

The latest draft revision is meant to fulfill a practical need as new technologies develop rapidly, said Yuan Shuhong, vice-minister of justice, when he briefed the top legislature on Sunday.

Before the revision, the country had intensified efforts in protecting IP rights by amending other relevant laws.

For example, the top compensation for those who maliciously damage others' trademarks or have committed serious trademark squatting was increased to 5 million yuan from 3 million yuan since the revised Trademark Law came into effect in November.

In addition, a draft revision to the Chinese Patent Law, which is still being reviewed among lawmakers after it was submitted to the top legislature for reading in 2018, also raised compensation to a range of 100,000 yuan to 5 million yuan when the loss to patent holders and the benefits gained by infringers cannot be determined. The current range is 10,000 yuan to 1 million yuan.

Copyright©2024 China Daily. All rights reserved.


京公网安备 11010502032503号 京公网安备 11010502032503号