Legislation and enforcement

Relevant legislation

What is the relevant legislation?

The primary legislation is the Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China. Other important parts of the legal framework include:

  • the Regulations for Implementation of the Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China;
  • the Regulations on Protection of Information Network Transmission Right;
  • the Regulations on Collective Administration of Copyrights; and
  • the Regulations on the Protection of Computer Software.

Also important are:

  • the Interpretation of the Supreme People’s Court Concerning Several Issues on the Application of Law in Adjudication of Civil Cases Involving Copyright (2002);
  • the Interpretation of the Supreme People’s Court Concerning Several Issues on the Application of Law in Adjudication of Internet Copyright Disputes (2006);
  • the Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court on Several Issues Concerning the Hearing of Cases by Internet Courts (2018); and
  • the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Several Issues Concerning Litigation Procedures for Cases Involving Patents or Intellectual Property (2018).
Enforcement authorities

Who enforces it?

The National Copyright Administration of China is responsible for the administration of copyright nationwide. The various provinces, autonomous regions and centrally administered municipalities will also have administrative authorities that administer copyright matters within respective geographic regions. The Copyright Law can also be enforced by the General Administration of Customs.

Normally, copyright will be enforced by the copyright owner, an exclusive licensee or a non-exclusive licensee under authorisation from the copyright owner, in criminal or civil proceedings.

Online and digital regulation

Are there any specific provisions of your copyright laws that address the digital exploitation of works? Are there separate statutory provisions that do so?

Information network transmission rights are covered by the Copyright Law. Moreover, the Regulation on Protection of Information Network Transmission Right specifically addresses this issue.

Extraterritorial application

Do your copyright laws have extraterritorial application to deal with foreign-owned or foreign-operated websites that infringe copyright?

Yes, so long as infringement or the results of infringement occur in China.

Agency

Is there a centralised copyright agency? What does this agency do?

The National Copyright Administration of China provides the following services:

  • manages the use of works belonging to the nation;
  • supervises copyright registration and statutory licensing;
  • handles copyright issues involving Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and abroad;
  • investigates serious or foreign criminal copyright issues; and
  • enhances the protection of copyrighted software.

Subject matter and scope of copyright

Protectable works

What types of works may be protected by copyright?

The Implementation of the Copyright Law defines ‘works’ as original intellectual creations capable of being reproduced in certain tangible forms. The Copyright Law offers a non-exhaustive list of ‘works’ and enumerates some examples, such as:

  • written works;
  • oral works;
  • musical, dramatic, quyi (traditional art forms of China), choreographic and acrobatic works;
  • fine art and architectural works;
  • photographic works;
  • cinematographic works and works created by a process analogous to cinematography;
  • graphic works, such as drawings of engineering designs and product designs, maps and sketches, and model works; and
  • computer software.
Rights covered

What types of rights are covered by copyright?

Rights covered by copyright can be divided into personal rights and property rights. Personal rights, also known as moral rights, are composed of:

  • the right of publication, which is the right to decide whether to make a work available to the public;
  • the right of authorship, which is the right to claim authorship in respect of and to have the author’s name mentioned in connection with a work;
  • the right of revision, which is the right to revise or authorise others to revise a work; and
  • the right of integrity, which is the right to protect a work against distortion and mutilation.

Property rights include:

  • the right of reproduction, which is the right to produce one or more copies of a work by printing, photocopying, lithographing, making a sound or video recording, duplicating a recording, or duplicating a photographic work, or by other means;
  • the right of distribution, which is the right to sell or donate the original copy or reproductions of a work to the public;
  • the right of rental, which is the right to authorise others to temporarily use a cinematographic work or a work created by a similar process, or computer software, except where the software itself is not the essential object of the rental;
  • the right of exhibition, which is the right to publicly display the original copy or reproductions of fine art or photographic work;
  • the right of performance, which is the right to publicly perform a work, and to publicly communicate the performance of a work by any means or process;
  • the right of presentation, which is the right to publicly present a work of fine art, a photographic work, a cinematographic work or work created by a similar process, or other works, with a slide projector or any other technology or instrument;
  • the right of broadcasting, which is the right to broadcast a work or disseminate it to the public by any wireless means, to communicate the broadcast of a work to the public by wire or by rebroadcasting, and to publicly communicate the broadcast of a work by loudspeaker or any other similar instrument capable of producing signs, sounds or images;
  • the right of communication through information networks, which is the right to make a work available to the public by wired or by wireless means, so that people may have access to the work at a place and time chosen by them;
  • the right of cinematography, which is the right to make a cinematic adaptation of a work using cinematography or a similar process;
  • the right of adaptation, which is the right to change a work into a new one with originality;
  • the right of translation, which is the right to change the language in which the work is written; and
  • the right of compilation, which is the right to compile, by selection or arrangement, pre-existing works or passages into a new work.
Excluded works

What may not be protected by copyright?

Copyright protects the original expression of ideas but not the ideas themselves. Further subjects excluded from copyright protection are:

  • laws and regulations, resolutions, decisions and orders of state organs, other documents of a legislative, administrative or judicial nature and their official translations;
  • current affairs news; and
  • calendars, numerical tables or forms of general use, and formulas.
Fair use and fair dealing

Do the doctrines of ‘fair use’ or ‘fair dealing’ exist, and, if so, what are the standards used in determining whether a particular use is fair?

A work may be used without permission and without payment, so long as the personal and other rights of the copyright owner are not prejudiced, under the following conditions:

  • use of another person’s published work for purposes of the user’s own personal study, research or appreciation;
  • appropriate quotation from another person’s published work in one’s own work for the purpose of introducing or commenting on a certain work, or explaining a certain point;
  • unavoidable inclusion or quotation of a published work in the media, such as in a newspaper, periodical or radio or television programme, for the purpose of reporting current events;
  • publishing or rebroadcasting by the media, such as a newspaper, periodical, radio station and television station, of an article published by another newspaper or periodical, or broadcast by another radio station or television station, etc on current political, economic or religious topics, except where the author declares that such publishing or rebroadcasting is not permitted;
  • publishing or broadcasting by the media, such as a newspaper, periodical, radio station or television station, of a speech delivered at a public gathering, except where the author declares that such publishing or broadcasting is not permitted;
  • translation, or reproduction in a small quantity of copies, of a published work by teachers or scientific researchers for use in classroom teaching or scientific research, provided that the translation or the reproductions are not published for distribution;
  • use of a published work by a state organ to a justifiable extent for the purpose of fulfilling its official duties;
  • reproduction of a work in its collections by a library, archive, memorial hall, museum, art gallery, etc for the purpose of display, or preservation of a copy, of the work;
  • gratuitous live performance of a published work, for which no fees are charged to the public, nor payments are made to the performers;
  • copying, drawing, photographing or video recording of a work of art put up or displayed in an outdoor public place;
  • translation of a published work of a Chinese citizen, legal entity or other organisation from Chinese into languages of minority ethnic groups for publication and distribution in the country; and
  • transliteration of a published work into Braille for publication.

Under the Copyright Law there are two criteria for use to be fair. The use shall satisfy certain scenarios declared in the detailed and exhaustive list of statutory limitations on copyright. Moreover, the use shall not jeopardise the personal and other legitimate rights of the copyright owner. For example, the name of the author and the title of the work shall be mentioned when it is used; otherwise, the user would infringe the right of authorship. Also, the use shall not jeopardise the market value of the works.

Architectural works

Are architectural works protected by copyright? How?

Architectural works are specifically protected under the Copyright Law. The Regulations for Implementation of the Copyright Law states that ‘architectural works are aesthetic works, which are, and can be, expressed in architectural or constructional form’.

Since the Copyright Law lists ‘architecture’ and ‘graphic works and model works’ as different kinds of works, only three-dimensional buildings and structures rather than graphic construction designs or architectural models could be regarded as architecture. Architectural plans that embody the aesthetic appearance of architectural works can be protected as artworks. Moreover, the originality test might be stricter than that for other works because such protection if granted would overlap with other intellectual property rights.

Architecture may be appreciated aesthetically. However, when the function and the aesthetic of the architectural design cannot be separated, then ‘architecture’ cannot be protected.

Performance rights

Are performance rights covered by copyright? How?

The right of performance enjoys copyright protection as ‘the right to publicly perform a work, and to publicly communicate the performance of a work by any means or processes’. Based on this definition, performance rights might occur in two scenarios: live performance and broadcast performance by varied means. Performing the work live, with no permission from the copyright owner, will usually infringe the owner’s performance rights unless it is a gratuitous live performance. A typical broadcast performance would include background music in places of business such as supermarkets, clubs, restaurants, airports, among others, for which the consent of the copyright owner must be obtained.

Neighbouring rights

Are other ‘neighbouring rights’ recognised? How?

Yes. Neighbouring rights include the rights of publishers’ typographical designs, the rights of performers, the rights of producers of sound or video recordings, and the rights of radio stations or television stations. Neighbouring rights owners are expected to refrain from jeopardising the statutory interests of copyright owners. For instance, the copyright owner should be remunerated when their works are performed, recorded or broadcasted. The neighbouring rights owners have similar property rights, while only the performer has personal rights.

Integrated circuit layouts are not protected by neighbouring rights under the Copyright Law. However, they are protected by the Regulations for the Protection of the Layout Design of Integrated Circuits.

Moral rights

Are moral rights recognised?

Yes. They are known as ‘personal rights’ in China. Authors’ personal rights include:

  • the right of publication, which is the right to decide whether to make a work available to the public;
  • the right of authorship, which is the right to claim authorship in respect of and be named in connection with a work;
  • the right of revision, which is the right to revise or authorise others to revise a work; and
  • the right of integrity, which is the right to protect a work against distortion and mutilation.

For neighbouring rights, only performers have personal rights that allow them:

  • to claim performership; and
  • to protect the image inherent in his performance from distortion.

Copyright formalities

Notice

Is there a requirement of copyright notice?

There is no requirement of notice under the legal framework for protecting copyright. However, in practice, copyright notices are often used by rights holders. Chinese courts would protect an author’s rights regardless of any formality and will, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, presume that the person named in connection with a work is the author.

What are the consequences for failure to use a copyright notice?

It is not necessary to display or use a copyright notice since the author’s rights exist automatically from the moment the work is created. However, displaying a copyright notice is often an easy method of proving ownership, especially in litigation.

Deposit

Is there a requirement of copyright deposit?

There is no requirement of copyright deposit in China, rather, it is an optional approach to prove authorship. Copyright deposits can be made at the Copyright Protection Centre of China. In keeping with the needs of works creation, commercial operations, and to secure and deposit evidence, the Centre provides applicants with creation certificates after sealing off their works, semi-finished works or creative designs. Works deposits are not subject to any censorship or any restrictions.

What are the consequences for failure to make a copyright deposit?

Copyright deposit is neither mandatory nor the only method for authors to protect their copyright in an active and timely manner. However, copyright deposit is an easy method

Registration

Is there a system for copyright registration, and, if so, how do you apply for a copyright registration?

Yes. The registration service is provided by the Copyright Protection Centre of China. Specifically, the Centre provides professional services in relation to copyright including:

  • computer software registration;
  • works copyright registration;
  • copyright transfer;
  • exclusive licensing contract registration and filing;
  • pledge contract registration;
  • copyright law publicity and consulting;
  • copyright authentication;
  • copyright certification;
  • third-party investigation and evidence collection;
  • works deposit;
  • copyright dispute mediation; and
  • other copyright public services and tasks assigned by the National Copyright Administration of China.

To register a work, a rights holder should submit a completed application form, a non-returnable copy or copies of the work to be registered and related documentary evidence, such as identification of the applicant and the agent, proof of copyright attribution, etc.

Is copyright registration mandatory?

Copyright registration is not mandatory. Nonetheless, it is always advisable for authors to register their works with the Copyright Protection Centre of China. This registration process provides a legal record of copyright ownership as well as additional legal benefits in cases of infringement.

What are the fees to apply for a copyright registration?

The fee for copyright registration of one work varies from 100 yuan to 2,000 yuan, depending on the kind of work. For the registration of several works, the fee ranges from 50 yuan to 400 yuan per work from the second work.

What are the consequences for failure to register a copyrighted work?

Usually, there are no consequences since copyright registration is not mandatory. However, a copyright registration certificate is a convenient proof of copyright ownership.

Ownership and transfer

Eligible owners

Who is the owner of a copyrighted work?

The initial owner is the author, which may be a natural person, a legal entity or an organisation. The author’s successors or assignees may also own the property rights to a work. However, personal rights can only belong to the author because they cannot be assigned or inherited (see question 26 for exceptions).

If the identity of the author of a work is unclear, the legal bearer of the original work shall have the right to exercise all copyright claims, except the author’s right of acknowledgement. Upon establishment of the author’s identity, the author or his or her successor shall exercise the copyright claims.

Employee and contractor work

May an employer own a copyrighted work made by an employee?

Yes. Although, not all works made by an employee during the period of employment are owned by the employer. Usually, a work created by an employee in the fulfilment of tasks assigned to him or her by his or her employer is a work created in the course of employment. The copyright in such work shall be enjoyed by the author. However, the employer shall have priority to exploit the work within the scope of its professional activities.

However, in any of the following cases, the author of a work created in the course of employment shall enjoy the right of authorship, while the employer shall enjoy the other rights included in the copyright and may reward the author:

  • engineering designs and product designs drawings, maps, computer software and other works which are created in the course of employment, mainly with the material and technical resources of the employer and for which the employer bears responsibility. In this scenario, no written contract is required; and
  • works created in the course of employment for which copyright is vested in the employer in accordance with laws, administrative regulations or contracts.

May a hiring party own a copyrighted work made by an independent contractor?

Yes. Normally, the ownership of the copyright in a commissioned work shall be agreed upon in a contract between the commissioning and the commissioned parties. In the absence of such a contract or an explicit agreement in such a contract, the copyright in the work shall belong to the commissioned party.

Joint and collective ownership

May a copyrighted work be co-owned?

Yes. Where a work is created jointly by two or more authors, the copyright in the work shall be jointly owned by the co-authors. No co-authorship may be claimed by anyone who has not participated in the creation of the work.

Where a work of joint authorship can be separated into parts and exploited separately, each co-author may be entitled to independent copyright in the part that he or she created, provided that the exercise of such copyright does not prejudice the copyright of the joint work as a whole.

Transfer of rights

May rights be transferred?

Property rights may be transferred in full or in part with a written contract.

Licensing

May rights be licensed?

Yes. Anyone who exploits another person’s work must conclude a copyright licensing contract with the copyright owner, except where no permission is required.

Are there compulsory licences? What are they?

Yes. A user might defend its use by claiming a compulsory licence during certain situations. If such situations do exist, then the user will not need the author’s permission but must remunerate the author.

There are five kinds of statutory licences specified in the Copyright Law and two in the Regulation on Protection of the Right to Network Dissemination of Information:

  • a newspaper or periodical publisher reprints work that is published by other newspapers or periodicals, prints an abstract of it, or prints it as reference material;
  • a producer of sound recordings, in making a sound recording, exploits musical work of which a lawful sound recording has already been made;
  • a radio or television station broadcasts a published work;
  • a radio or television station broadcasts a published sound recording;
  • a short extract from published works is compiled in textbooks for a nine-year compulsory education syllabus and national education planning;
  • a short extract from published works is used to produce courseware for a nine-year compulsory education syllabus or national education planning through an information network; and
  • for the purpose of aiding poverty stricken areas, a published work is available, free of charge, to the public in rural areas through the information network.

Are licences administered by performing rights societies? How?

Yes. Licences for various types of copyright and related rights would be administered by the five performing rights societies, namely:

  • the Music Copyright Society of China;
  • the China Audio-Video Copyright Association;
  • the China Written Works Copyright Society;
  • Images Copyright Society of China; and
  • the China Film Copyright Association.

These societies’ administrative systems for licensing are similar. The Music Copyright Society of China, for example, would negotiate with potential users of registered musical works on rates of royalties for the purpose of collective administration then issue licences to the users. Music Copyright Society of China must collect royalties from users to remunerate the music copyright owners. The Music Copyright Society of China would also take legal action against music copyright infringers, if necessary.

Termination

Is there any provision for the termination of transfers of rights?

The Copyright Law does not stipulate any right of termination, so any termination must be contractually agreed in writing. Normally, without any termination clause in a transfer contract, the duration of the transfer is equal to the remaining protective period of the rights.

Recordal

Can documents evidencing transfers and other transactions be recorded with a government agency?

Yes. The Copyright Protection Centre of China can provide such services. The applicant must first complete an online application form and then submit the materials requested for recording to the Centre personally or through its agent. Materials include the application form, the transfer contract, the identification certificate of the applicant, the registration certificate of the rights and the search results for the registration of the rights, if available. After the application fee is paid, the applicant receives a receipt. The process usually lasts 10 working days during which time the applicant may be requested to supply further supporting documents. After recording is complete, details of the transfer record may be found online and the applicant should receive a certificate of the record within three working days.

Duration of copyright

Protection start date

When does copyright protection begin?

Copyright protection begins automatically at the moment when a work is created.

Duration

How long does copyright protection last?

The protection term of the rights of authorship, revision and integrity is permanent. For the right of publication and property rights, the duration is the author’s lifetime and 50 years after his or her death. The following points should be noted:

  • the term of a work of joint authorship shall expire on 31 December of the 50th year after the death of the last surviving author;
  • in respect of the work of a legal entity or other organisation or a work that is created in the course of employment for which the copyright (except the right of authorship) is enjoyed by a legal entity or other organisation, the term of protection for the right of publication and property rights shall be 50 years, expiring on 31 December of the 50th year after the first publication of such work; and
  • in respect of a cinematographic work or work created by a similar process, or a photographic work, the term of protection for the right of publication and property rights shall be 50 years, expiring on 31 December of the 50th year after the first publication of such work.

Neighbouring rights have the same duration as copyright.

Does copyright duration depend on when a particular work was created or published?

In respect of work created by a legal entity, organisation or work that is created in the course of employment, copyright (excluding the right to authorship) will not be protected if the work is not published within 50 years of its creation. It is the same with the rights to films or motion pictures, works created using a process similar to films and photographic works.

Renewal

Do terms of copyright have to be renewed? How?

No.

Government extension of protection term

Has your jurisdiction extended the term of copyright protection?

No.

Copyright infringement and remedies

Infringing acts

What constitutes copyright infringement?

The Copyright Law offers a non-exhaustive list of specific acts of infringement. In practice, the court would consider the following when judging a direct infringement: whether the acts committed are controlled under copyright; whether the acts are prohibited by the rights holder; and whether the acts cannot be admitted as an exception or limitation by the Copyright Law.

An infringement would be actionable if these three elements are all established.

Whether the acts are committed deliberately will only influence the amount of the damages but not infringement liability.

Vicarious and contributory liability

Does secondary liability exist for indirect copyright infringement? What actions incur such liability?

Although there is no secondary liability for indirect copyright infringement clearly laid down in the Copyright Law, the Interpretation of the Supreme People’s Court Concerning Several Issues on Hearing Cases in Internet Copyright Disputes provides for secondary liability for indirect infringement over a network. In addition, this secondary liability is also actionable under Chinese Tort Law. Article 9 of the Tort Law states that, ‘One who abets or assists another person in committing a tort shall be liable jointly and severally with the tortfeasor.’ Thus, secondary liability for indirect copyright infringement would be incurred when one abets or assists in direct copyright infringement.

In practice, courts seem to believe that a preparatory act leading to a direct infringement or an act that would increase infringement damages may also incur secondary liability.

Available remedies

What remedies are available against a copyright infringer?

China has a two-track protection system. On one track, the copyright owner may file a complaint with the local copyright administration and enforcement department, requesting the enforcement of administrative measures against the infringer, including an order to stop infringement and the imposition of a fine.

Alternatively, the injured party may bring a lawsuit against the copyright infringer that includes a request for the cessation of infringement, the elimination of adverse effects, an apology, and compensation. When filing legal proceedings, the rights owner may request an order for the cessation of infringement and the preservation of property, if they can present preliminary evidence to prove that the defendant is committing or is about to commit copyright infringement that will likely cause the rights owner irreparable harm unless prompt action is taken.

Further, if criminal liability is involved, the rights owner may also make a report to the police.

Limitation period

Is there a time limit for seeking remedies?

Yes. The General Principles of Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China provide that the period of limitation of actions for the protection of civil rights is two years. Accordingly, the Interpretation of the Supreme People’s Court Concerning Several Issues on the Application of Law in Adjudication of Civil Cases Involving Copyright states that the time limit for seeking remedies in copyright infringement actions is two years.

The General Rules of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China effective on 1 October 2017 changed the time limit for seeking remedies from two years to three years. Therefore, the time limit for copyright infringement actions is also three years starting from the date when a copyright holder knows or should have known of the infringement. In cases where the copyright holder initiates a lawsuit after three years and infringement is still ongoing, the court will, within the protection period of the copyright, order the defendant to stop its infringement and pay damages that covers the three years preceding the date when the copyright holder initiated the lawsuit.

Furthermore, in some circumstances general limitation periods for civil cases in China can be reset. Those circumstances include:

  • the rights holder requesting a performance;
  • the obligor agreeing to fulfil its obligations; or
  • the rights holder suing or seeking arbitration, or other similar circumstances arise.
Monetary damages

Are monetary damages available for copyright infringement?

Yes. Article 49 of the Copyright Law stipulates that monetary damages shall be paid in terms of the actual losses suffered by the rights owner, or the amount of the unlawful gains of the infringer when the actual losses are difficult to calculate.

Damages are based on a combination of the level of fault exhibited by an infringer, the rights holder’s losses, the infringer’s proceeds and other factors. The order of application for methods of assessing damages is:

  • the actual loss suffered;
  • illegal proceeds; and
  • statutory damages.

If losses or illegal proceeds cannot be accurately proven, the court may determine damages on a discretionary basis, which may be higher than the maximum statutory damages. If losses or illegal proceeds cannot be accurately proven, and they cannot be determined, statutory damages will apply. Statutory damages are capped at 500,000 yuan.

Damages are not generally available for infringing moral rights. However, in circumstances where severe moral damages are sustained that cannot be remedied by the cessation of infringement, the courts may award compensation

Attorneys’ fees and costs

Can attorneys’ fees and costs be claimed in an action for copyright infringement?

Yes. Compensation shall include the reasonable expenses that the rights owner has paid for stopping the infringement, which would include reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs such as notarisation fees. The court usually exercises discretion on how much is deemed reasonable to cover attorneys’ fees.

Criminal enforcement

Are there criminal copyright provisions? What are they?

Yes. Article 48 of the Copyright Law states that criminal liabilities shall be investigated in accordance with law where a crime is constituted. In the Criminal Law, Article 217 declares that whoever, for the purpose of making profits, commits any infringement on copyright shall, if the amount of illegal gains is relatively large, or if there are other serious circumstances, be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment or criminal detention and shall also, or shall only, be fined.

Online infringement

Are there any specific liabilities, remedies or defences for online copyright infringement?

Yes. The Regulation on Protection of Information Network Transmission Right focuses on the online copyright infringement issue. Specifically, notice-takedown procedures have been introduced in this Regulation.

Where a rights holder believes there has been online infringement, he or she may notify the network service provider in writing and request that network service provider to delete his or her copyrighted works, performances, audio and video products or to remove the links to such works, performances, audio and video products. Upon receipt of the notice from the rights holder, the network service provider should immediately delete the allegedly infringing content or remove the links to the allegedly infringing content, or they may be held liable for infringement.

Prevention measures

How may copyright infringement be prevented?

Rights holders may adopt technical measures to prevent their information network transmission rights from being infringed. It is forbidden to intentionally avoid or destroy such technical measures. Entities may not intentionally manufacture, import or provide devices or parts used principally for the avoidance or destruction of technical measures, and shall not provide technical services for others to avoid or destroy technical measures.

Relationship to foreign rights

International conventions

Which international copyright conventions does your country belong to?

The treaties administered by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) include:

  • the Beijing Treaty on Audio-visual Performances;
  • the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled;
  • the WIPO Copyright Treaty (9 June 2007);
  • the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (9 June 2007);
  • the Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms (30 April 1993);
  • the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (15 October 1992); and
  • the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (3 June 1980).

Copyright-related multilateral treaties include:

  • the Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials;
  • the Convention and Statute on Freedom of Transit;
  • the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons;
  • the United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property;
  • the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts;
  • the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
  • the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions 2005;
  • the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage;
  • the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization;
  • the World Trade Organization - Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) (1994); and
  • the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (5 April 2000).

Universal Copyright Convention:

  • the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property;
  • the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods; and
  • the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

What obligations are imposed by your country’s membership of international copyright conventions?

China accords national treatment to nationals from other member states with regard to copyright protection.