In July 2012 the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) released a second draft of proposed amendments to the Copyright Law. Significant amendments were made to the first draft following heated discussions and strong objections, particularly from the music industry, to provisions relating to statutory licence and extended management rights of collective copyright management organisations (CCMO).
The amendments proposed in the first draft relating to statutory licences and extended management rights of CCMOs are as follows.
Once a sound recording has been published for three months, provided that certain conditions are met, other producers may use the music composition to make new recordings without the authorisation of the copyright owner.
Radio and television stations may, subject to certain conditions, broadcast a published audiowork without the authorisation of the copyright owner. However, where the work involved is an audiovisual work, permission of the original producer is required.
Extended management right
Unless the copyright owner opts out of coverage in writing, a CCMO may represent the copyright owner and exercise the copyright owner's rights even if it is not a member of a CCMO – the CCMO takes over the copyright owner’s rights by default.
The proposals have been heavily criticised by the music industry as opening the gate to infringement and inappropriately expanding the rights of CCMOs.
This feedback was heeded and the provisions relating to statutory licences were deleted from the second draft of the proposed amendments. Further, the rights of a CCMO have been limited: only if the CCMO obtains authorisation from a copyright owner and can represent its interests at a national level, can it exercise the copyright and related rights of the owner in relation to both the broadcast of literary, music, artistic or photographic works by radio and television stations and the public dissemination of published works of music or audiovisual works through self-service song selection system. The copyright owner remains free to opt out in writing.
The NCAC is expected to release a third draft of the proposed amendments after it has considered the feedback received from the public, trade and right holders on the second draft.
This article first appeared in IAM magazine. For further information please visit www.iam-magazine.com.