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Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China (2001)

( Adopted at the Fifteenth Session of the Standing Committee of
the Seventh National People's Congress on 7 September 1990, and
revised in accordance with the Decision on the Amendment of
the Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China adopted at the 24th Session of
the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress on 27 October 2001 )

Copyright

Section 1 Copyright Owners and Their Right

Article 9.   The term "copyright owners" shall include:

1) authors;

(2) other citizens, legal entities and other organizations enjoying copyright in accordance with this Law.

Article 10.   The term "copyright" shall include the following personality rights and property rights:

(1) the right of publication, that is, the right to decide whether to make a work available to the public;

(2) the right of authorship, that is, the right to claim authorship and to have the author's name mentioned in connection with the work;

(3) the right of alteration, that is, the right to alter or authorize others to alter one's work;

(4) the right of integrity, that is, the right to protect one's work against distortion and mutilation;

(5) the right of reproduction, that is, the right to produce one or more copies of a work by printing, photocopying, lithographing, making a sound recording or video recording, duplicating a recording, or duplicating a photographic work or by any other means;

(6) the right of distribution, that is, the right to make available to the public the original or reproductions of a work though sale or other transfer of ownership;

(7) the right of rental, that is, the right to authorize, with payment, others to temporarily use cinematographic works, works created by virtue of an analogous method of film production, and computer software, except any computer software that is not the main subject matter of rental;

(8) the right of exhibition, that is, the right to publicly display the original or reproduction of a work of fine art and photography;

(9) the right of performance, that is, the right to publicly perform a work and publicly broadcast the performance of a work by various means;

(10) the right of showing, that is, the right to show to the public a work, of fine art, photography, cinematography and any work created by analogous methods of film production through film projectors, over-head projectors or any other technical devices;

(11) the right of broadcast, that is, the right to publicly broadcast or communicate to the public a work by wireless means, to communicate to the public a broadcast work by wire or relay means, and to communicate to the public a broadcast work by a loudspeaker or by any other analogous tool used to transmit symbols, sounds or pictures;

(12) the right of communication of information on networks, that is, the right to communicate to the public a work, by wire or wireless means in such a way that members of the public may access these works from a place and at a time individually chosen by them;

(13) the right of making cinematographic work, that is, the right to fixate a work on a carrier by way of film production or by virtue of an analogous method of film production;

(14) the right of adaptation, that is, the right to change a work to create a new work of originality;

(15) the right of translation, that is, the right to translate a work in one language into one in another language;

(16) the right of compilation, that is, the right to compile works or parts of works into a new work by reason of the selection or arrangement; and

(17) any other rights a copyright owner is entitled to enjoy.

A copyright owner may authorize another person to exercise the rights under the preceding paragraphs (5) to (17), and receive remuneration pursuant to an agreement or this Law.

A copyright owner may assign, in part or in whole, the rights under the preceding paragraphs (5) to (17), and receive remuneration pursuant to an agreement or this Law.

Section 2 Ownership of Copyright

Article 11.   Except where otherwise provided in this Law, the copyright in a work shall belong to its author.

The author of a work is the citizen who has created the Work.

Where a work is created according to the intention and under the supervision and responsibility of a legal entity or other organization, such legal entity or organization shall be deemed to be the author of the work.

The citizen, legal entity or other organization whose name is mentioned in connection with a work shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be deemed to be the author of the work.

Article 12.   Where a work is created by adaptation, translation, annotation or arrangement of a preexisting work, the copyright in the work thus created shall be enjoyed by the adapter, translator, annotator or arranger, Provided that the exercise of such copyright shall not prejudice the copyright in the original work.

Article 13.   Where a work is created jointly by two or more co-authors, the copyright in the work shall be enjoyed jointly by those co-authors. Co-authorship may not be claimed by anyone who has not participated in the creation of the work.

If a work of joint authorship can be separated into independent parts and exploited separately, each co-author shall be entitled to independent copyright in the parts that he has created, provided that the exercise of such copyright shall not prejudice the copyright in the joint work as a whole.

Article 14.   A work created by compilation of several works, parts of works, data that do not constitute a work or other materials and having originality in the selection or arrangement of its contents is a work of compilation. The copyright in a work of compilation shall be enjoyed by the compiler, provided that the exercise of such copyright shall not prejudice the copyright in the preexisting works.

Article 15.   The copyright in a cinematographic work and any work created by an analogous method of fl1m production shall be enjoyed by the producer of the work, but the scriptwriter, director, cameraman, lyricist, composer, and other authors thereof shall enjoy the right of authorship in the work, and have the right to receive remuneration pursuant to the contract concluded with the producer.

The authors of the screenplay, musical works and other works that are incorporated in a cinematographic work and work created by virtue of an analogous method of film production and can be exploited separately shall be entitled to exercise their copyright independently.

Article 16.   A work created by a citizen in the fulfillment of tasks assigned to him by a legal entity or other organization shall be deemed to be a work created in the course of employment. The copyright in such work shall be enjoyed by the author, subject to the provisions of the second paragraph of this Article, provided that the legal entity or other organization shall have a priority right to exploit the work within the scope of its professional activities. During the two years after the completion of the work, the author shall not, without the consent of the legal entity or other organization, authorize a third party to exploit the work in the same way as the legal entity or other organization does.

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 legal entity or other organization shall enjoy the other rights included in the copyright and may reward the author:

(1) drawings of engineering designs and product designs and maps, computer software and other works created in the course of employment mainly with the material and technical resource of the legal entity or other organization and under its responsibility;

(2) works created in the course of employment where the copyright is, in accordance with laws, administrative regulations or contracts, enjoyed by the legal entity or other organization.

Article 17.   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 a contract or of an explicit agreement in the contract, the copyright in such a work shall belong to the commissioned party.

Article 18.   The transfer of ownership of the original copy of a work of fine art, or other works, shall not be deemed to include the transfer of the copyright in such work, provided that the right to exhibit the original copy of a work of fine art shall be enjoyed by the owner of such original copy.

Article 19.   Where the copyright in a work belongs to a citizen, the right of exploitation and the rights under Article 10, paragraphs (5) to (17), of this Law in respect of the work shall, after his death, during the term of protection provided for in this Law, be transferred in accordance with the provisions of the Inheritance Law.

Where the copyright in a work belongs to a legal entity or other organization, the rights under Articles l0, paragraphs (5) to (l7), of this Law, shall, after the change or the termination of the status of the legal entity or other organization, during the term of protection provided for in this Law, be enjoyed by the succeeding legal entity or other organization which has taken over the former's rights and obligations, or, in the absence of such successor entity or other organization, by the State.

Section 3 Term of Protection for Rights

Article 20.   The rights of authorship, alteration and integrity of an author shall be unlimited in time.

Article 21.   The term of protection for the right of publication and the rights referred to in Article l0, paragraphs (5) to (17), of this Law in respect of a work of a citizen shall be the lifetime of the author and fifty years after his death, and expires on 31 December of the fiftieth year after the death of the author. In the case of a work of joint authorship, such term shall expire on 31 December of the fiftieth year after the death of the last surviving author.

The term of protection for the right of publication and the rights provided for in Article 10, paragraphs (5) to (17), of this Law in respect of a work where the copyright belongs to a legal entity or other organization or in respect of a work created in the course of employment where the legal entity or other organization enjoys the copyright (except the right of authorship), shall be fifty years, and expires on 31 December of the fiftieth year after the first Publication of such work, provided that any such work that has not been published within t1tty years after the completion of its creation shall no longer be protected under this Law.

The term of protection for the right of publication or protection for the right of publication or the rights referred to in Article l0, paragraphs (5) to (17), of this Law in respect of a cinematographic work, a work created by virtue of an analogous method of film production or a photographic work shall be fifty years, and expires on 3l December of the fiftieth year after the first publication of such work, provided that any such work that has not been published within fifty years after the completion of its creation shall no longer be protected under this Law.

Section 4 Limitations on Rights

Article 22.   n the following cases, a work may be exploited without permission from, and without payment of remuneration to, the copyright owner, provided that the name of the author and the title of the work shall be mentioned and the other rights enjoyed by the copyright owner by virtue of this Law shall not be prejudiced:

(1) use of a published work for the purposes of the user's own private study, research or self-entertainment;

(2) appropriate quotation from a published work in one's own work for the purposes of introduction to, or comments on, a work, or demonstration of a point;

(3) reuse or citation, for any unavoidable reason, of a published work in newspapers, periodicals, at radio stations, television stations or any other media for the purpose of reporting current events;

(4) reprinting by newspapers or periodicals, or rebroadcasting by radio stations, television stations, or any other media, of articles on current issues relating to politics, economics or religion published by other newspapers, periodicals, or broadcast by other radio stations, television stations or any other media except where the author has declared that the reprinting and rebroadcasting is not permitted;

(5) publication in newspapers or periodicals, or broadcasting by radio stations, television stations or any other media, of a speech delivered at a public gathering, except where the author has declared that the publication or broadcasting is not permitted;

(6) translation, or reproduction in a small quantity of copies, of a published work for use by teachers or scientific researchers, in classroom teaching or scientific research, provided that the translation or reproduction shall not be published or distributed;

(7) use of a published work, within proper scope, by a State organ for the purpose of fulfilling its official duties;

(8) reproduction of a work in its collections by a library, archive, memorial hall, museum, art gallery or any similar institution, for the purposes of the display, or preservation of a copy, of the work;

(9) free-of-charge live performance of a published work and said performance neither collects any fees from the members of the public nor pays remuneration to the performers;

(10) copying, drawing, photographing or video recording of an artistic work located or on display in an outdoor public place;

(11) translation of a published work of a Chinese citizen, legal entity or any other organization from the Han language into any minority nationality language for publication and distribution within the country; and

(12) transliteration of a published work into Braille and publication of the work so transliterated. The above limitations on rights shall be applicable also to the rights of publishers, performers, producers of sound recordings and video recordings, radio stations and television stations.

Article 23.   In compiling and publishing textbooks for implementing the nine-year compulsory education and the national educational program, parts of published works, short written works, music works or single copies of works of painting or photographic works may be compiled into textbooks without the authorization from the authors, except where the authors have declared in advance the use thereof is not permitted, with remuneration paid according to the regulations, the name of the author and the title of the work indicated and without prejudice to other rights enjoyed by the copyright owners according to this Law.

The above limitations on rights shall be applicable also to the rights of publishers, performers, producers of sound recordings and video recordings, radio stations and television stations.