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Copyright Within China: A 2018 Review of Copyright Registrations

Written by Fatima Amedu on 20 March 2019

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The National Copyright Administration of China (‘NCAC’) is a national body that oversees the administrative and legal components involving copyright in China.  

The NCAC reported that in March 2019, 3,457,338 copyright registrations were noted in 2018. This indicates a consistent yearly growth of 25.83 percent. Not only is this growth impressive, but it illustrates an understanding of how important it is to protect and strengthen copyright rights. As China’s technological sector continues to thrive and it continues to compete with the US’ Silicon Valley, more companies and individuals will seek registration of their copyright rights.

In 2018, there were 2,351,952 works (registered items that adhere to the relevant criteria), and the city of Beijing had an increment of 100,000 works. There were four types of works that amounted to 95 percent of the total works registered: works of fine arts equated to 992,513 pieces, (42.20 percent), photographic works equated to 917,045 pieces (38.99 percent), literary works equated to 278,170 pieces, (11.83 percent) and cinematographic and television works equated to 53,224 pieces (2.26 percent).

Another key institution in the area of Chinese copyright is the Copyright Protection Centre of China (‘CPCC’). The CPCC is an institution designated by the NCAC for Computer Software Copyright Registration, Copyright Pledge Registration and other registrations.

In 2018, the CPCC saw a significant increment in the total amount of computer software copyright registrations (1,104,839, with a consistent growth of 48.22 percent. Approximately, 72.78 percent of the 800,000 copyright registrations for computer software occurred in Eastern China. The Chinese province Guangdong had the highest registrations, followed by Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong, Sichuan, Fujian, Hubei, and Henan.

In 2018, there was significant growth in APP softwares (76.29 percent increase). In addition, AI and big data softwares experienced growth in registration (104.02% and 64.27% respectively).

In 2018, the CPCC noted a total number of 547 pledge registrations of copyrights were completed.  Although this figure may seem insignificant, it indicates a consistent growth of 82.94 percent.

All in all, copyright registration in China experienced continual growth in 2018. This indicates that innovation, technological advancement and artistic creativity is likely to increase in 2019. Consequently, there is likely to be an increase in the registration of copyrights. The registration of copyrights not only affords the registrant convenience, but it gives the registrant protection by serving as evidence of when the work was created, and it strengthens the registrant’s copyright rights.

 

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