On September 21, 2020, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court has issued a final judgment in a case involving a Douyu anchor who live-streamed unauthorized covers of other people's songs, the court decided “The company failed to fulfill the reasonable duty of review, and broadcast and share the video content of the song "little jumping frog" through the network, so that the public can watch and share it at the selected time and place. It infringed the right of information network transmission of the song "little jumping frog" recorded by Qilin Tong company, and should bear the legal responsibility of infringement.”
In fact, this case is not surprising. In recent years, the country has paid more and more attention to the copyright of songs, and live broadcasting is a new form of entertainment. Many anchors sing music works without buying copyright in the live broadcasting room, but they are seldom paid attention to. The main purpose of the live broadcast is to earn the reward in the live broadcast room, so the behavior of the live broadcast is also a commercial behavior. According to Article 38 of the Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China, "A performer who for a performance exploits a work created by another person shall obtain permission from, and pay remuneration to, the copyright owner. Where a performing organizer organizes a performance, the Organizer shall obtain permission from, and pay remuneration to, the copyright owner." Therefore, the appearance of this judgment may deter some live-streaming bloggers and better attach importance to copyright and intellectual property rights
In addition to the lack of regulation in the emerging industry, some traditional customs still exist in China, which also play a marginal role in infringing song copyright, but are less liable for legal responsibility.
Last month, I was invited to attend a wedding. The wedding was held in the couple's hometown. The whole village attended the grand event. The new family also invited a singing and dancing team to perform live. The members of the singing and dancing team sang a number of popular songs and accepted everyone's request. The atmosphere of the scene has been very pleasant under the foil of the singing and dancing team, the host family is also very readily paid for the performance. But whether their performance is a commercial performance? Did they get permission from the song's owner?
According to Article 52 of Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China,Anyone who commits any of the following acts of infringement shall bear civil liability for such remedies as ceasing the infringing act, eliminating the effects of the act, making an apology or paying compensation for damages, depending on the circumstances:
…… (7) exploiting a work created by another person without paying remuneration as prescribed by regulations;
…… (10) broadcasting live a performance or communicating the live performance to the public, or recording his performance without the permission of the performer; or (11) committing any other act of infringement of copyright and of other copyright-related rights.
According to Article 52 of Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China, Anyone who commits any of the following acts of infringement shall bear civil liability as provided for in Article 52 of this Law in light of the circumstances; where an infringing act impacts the interests of the public at the same time, the department in charge of copyright shall order the cessation of the infringing act, give a warning thereto, confiscate illegal income, confiscate, and harmlessly destroy and handle the infringing copy, and the materials, tools, equipment and so on mainly used for producing the infringing products, and concurrently impose a fine of not less than one time but not more than five times the amount of illegal business transactions where the amount of illegal business transactions exceeds 50,000 yuan; where there is no illegal business transaction, it is hard to calculate the illegal business transaction or the illegal business transaction is no more than 50,000 yuan, a fine of less than 50,000 can be imposed; and if the act constitutes a crime, the infringer shall be prosecuted for criminal liability:
(1) reproducing, distributing, performing, showing, broadcasting, compiling or communicating to the public on an information network a work created by another person, without the permission of the copyright owner, unless otherwise provided in this Law;
To sum up, it can be seen that although the singing and dancing team performs in the couple's home, but the nature is commercial performance, and the payments they receive are also illegal gains.
However, for this kind of village stage, the copyright of the songs does not seem to matter, nor did the singing and dancing team have the right to perform them. Neither the performers nor the audience realize that the singing and dancing team has violated the song copyright and the copyright law.
At present, although the relevant organizations and large Music Apps have paid more attention to song copyright, the public's awareness has not been improved. From downloading pirated songs on the Internet, to some roadside performers, live room bloggers, and then to performances on the country stage, it seems that people have not paid enough attention to song copyright. Therefore, the appearance of the judgment at the beginning of this article may deter some infringement acts. It is hoped that the law can be popularized to the public from the judicial level to improve citizens' awareness of copyright.