Copyright Law of the PRC (2021 Version)

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Contents

Chapter I: General Provisions

Chapter II: Copyrights

Section 1: Copyright Holders and Their Rights

Section 2: Copyright Ownership

Section 3: Term of Protection of Rights

Section 4: Limitation of Rights

Chapter III: Copyright Licensing and Assignment Contracts

Chapter IV: Rights Related to Copyright

Section 1: Publication of Books and Periodicals

Section 2: Performances

Section 3: Audio and Video Recordings

Section 4: Broadcasting by Radio or TV Stations

Chapter V: Protections of Copyrights and Rights Related to Copyright

Chapter VI: Supplementary Provisions

 

Chapter I: General Provisions

Article 1: This law is formulated in accordance with the Constitution in order to protect the copyrights of authors of literary, artistic, and scientific works, as well as rights related to copyrights, to encourage the creation and dissemination of works beneficial to the construction of a culture in the spirit of socialism and material culture, and to stimulate the development and flourishing of Socialist culture and scientific endeavors.

Article 2: Works of Chinese citizens, legal entities, or unincorporated organizations, whether published or not, are to enjoy copyright in accordance with this Law.

Works of foreigners and stateless persons are protected by this law and enjoy copyrights on the basis of agreements concluded with China by their authors' country of nationality or their country of habitual residence, or international treaties in which they participate together.

Where works by foreigners or stateless persons are first published within the territory of China, they are to enjoy copyright in accordance with this Law.

Works of authors from countries not having concluded an agreement with China or not participating together in an international treaty and of stateless persons are protected by this law where they are published first in a member state of an international treaty in which China participates, or simultaneously in member states and non-member states.

Article 3: Works, as used in this law refers to intellectual achievements in areas such as literature, arts, and sciences, that have originality, which can be fixed in certain forms, including:

(1) Written works;

(2) Oral works;

(3) musical, dramatic, folk craft, choreographic, and acrobatic art works;

(4) Fine art and architectural works;

(5) Photographic works;

(6) Audiovisual works;

(7) Graphic works and models such as engineering design drawings, product design drawings, maps, and schematic diagrams;

(8) Computer software;

(9) Other intellectual achievements that meet the characteristics of the work.

Article 4: In exercising their rights, copyright holders and holders of copyright-related rights must not violate the Consitution or laws, and must not harm the public interest. The state is to conduct oversight and management of the publication and dissemination of works in accordance with the law.

Article 5: This law does not apply to:

(1) Laws and regulations, State organ resolutions, decisions, decrees and other documents having a legislative, administrative or judicial nature, and their official translations;

(2) Purely factual information;

(3) calendars, common numeral tables, common forms, and formulas.

Article 6: The State Council is to separately provide measures for the copyright protection of folk literature and artistic works.

Article 7: The national departments for copyright are responsible for copyright management across the country; the local copyright departments at the county level and above are responsible for copyright management in the respective administrative regions.

Article 8: Copyright holders and the holders of copyright-related rights may authorize collective copyright management organizations to exercise the copyrights or copyright-related rights. Lawfully established collective copyright management organizations are non-profit legal persons and after being authorized may claim rights for copyright holders and holders of copyright-related rights in its own name, and may act as a party in litigation, arbitration, and mediation activities involving copyrights or copyright-related rights.

Collective copyright management organizations are to collect royalties from users based on their authorization. The standards for the collection of royalties are to be determined by negotiation between the collective copyright management organizations and user representatives, and where negotiation is unsuccessful, they may apply to the national department for copyright to make a ruling, and those not satisfied with the ruling may initiate proceedings in the people's courts; or parties may also directly initiate proceedings in the people's courts.

Collective copyright management organizations shall periodically publicly disclose the general situation of the collection and transfer of royalties, the extraction and use of management fees, and the unallocated portion of royalties; and shall establish a system for making inquiries into rights information, for rights holders and users to make inquiries. The national departments for copyright shall conduct oversight and management of collective copyright management organizations in accordance with the law.

The State Council is to separately provide for the methods for setting up collective copyright management organizations, their rights and obligations, their collection and allotment of royalties, as well as their oversight and management.

Chapter II: Copyrights

Section 1: Copyright Holders and Their Rights

Article 9: Copyright holders include:

(1) Authors;

(2) Other natural persons, legal persons, or unincorporated organizations that enjoy copyright in accordance with this Law.

Article 10: Copyrights include the following personal and property rights:

(1) the right of publication, being the right to decide whether or not to make the work known to the public;

(2) the right of attribution, 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 works;

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

(5) the right of reproduction, that is, the right to produce one or more copies of the work by means such as printing, photocopying, rubbing, audio recording, video recording, duplicating, re-shooting, or digitizing;

(6) the right of distribution, that is, the right to provide the public with original copies or reproduced copies of works by means of sale or donation;

(7) the right to lease, that is, the right to permit others to temporarily use an original or reproduced audiovisual work or computer software, unless the computer software is not the main object under the lease;

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

(9) the right of performance, that is, the right to publicly perform works, and to publicly transmit the performance of works by any means;

(10) The right of projection, that is, the right to publicly reproduce art, photography, audio-visual works, etc. through technical equipment such as projectors and slide projectors;

(11) Broadcasting rights, that is, the right to publicly disseminate or rebroadcast works by wired or wireless means, and the right to disseminate broadcasted works to the public through loudspeakers or other similar tools that transmit symbols, sounds, and images, but not include the rights prescribed in item (12) of this article;

(12) The right of information network transmission, that is, the right to provide to the public in a wired or wireless manner, so that the public can obtain the work at the time and place selected by the public;

(13) the right of production, that is, the right to fix works in a medium by audiovisual production;

(14) The right of adaptation, that is, the right to change the work and create new works having originality;

(15) The right of translation, that is, the right to transform a work from one language to another;

(16) the right of compilation, that is, the right to select or arrange works or fragments of works into a new work;

(17) Other rights that shall be enjoyed by the copyright holder.

Copyright holders may permit others to exercise the rights specified in items (5) - (17) of the preceding paragraph and receive remuneration in accordance with agreements or relevant provisions of this law.

Copyright holders may assign all or part of the rights specified in items (5) - (17) of the first paragraph of this article, and receive remuneration in accordance with the agreement or the relevant provisions of this law.

Section 2: Copyright Ownership

Article 11: The copyright belongs to the author, unless otherwise provided for in this law.

The natural person creating a work is the author.

A legal person or an unincorporated organization is regarded as the author of works that are presided over by the legal person or an unincorporated organization, that are created at the will of and on behalf of the legal person or an unincorporated organization, and for which the legal person or an unincorporated organization bears responsibility.

Article 12: The natural person, legal person, or unincorporated organization whose name is attributed to the work is its author and has corresponding rights in the work, except where there is evidence to the contrary.

Authors and other copyright holders may register their works with registration agencies recognized by the national copyright authority.

For copyright-related rights, refer to the provisions of the preceding two paragraphs.

Article 13: The copyright of works produced by adapting, translating, annotating, and arranging existing works is enjoyed by those who made the adaptation, translation, annotation, or arrangement, but copyrights in the original work must not be infringed when exercising this copyright.

Article 14: Copyright in works created cooperatively by two or more people is jointly enjoyed by the collaborators. Persons not having participated in the creation, cannot become cooperative authors.

Copyright of works of joint authorship is to be uniformly exercised by the collaborating authors through negotiation; and where they cannot reach a consensus and there are no legitimate grounds, the parties must not obstruct the other parties' rights other than the rights to transfer, permit exclusive use, or pledge, but the proceeds gained shall be reasonably allotted among all collaborating authors.

Where a work of joint authorship can be divided and used separately, each co-author may enjoy independent copyright in the parts that they created, but the exercise of this copyright must not infringe upon the copyright of the joint work as a whole.

Article 15: A compilation work is a work that is compiled of several works, fragments of works, or data and other materials that do not constitute a work, where the originality of the work is in selection or curation of the content; and the copyright of compilation works is to be enjoyed by the compiler, but in exercising their rights, they must not infringe the copyrights in the original works.

Article 16: The publication, performance, and production of audio and video works using works produced by adapting, translating, annotating, arranging, or compiling existing works shall obtain the permission of those works' copyright holders and of the copyright holders for the original work, and pay remuneration.

Article 17: Among audiovisual works, the copyrights in film and television program works are enjoyed by the authors, but screenwriters, directors, cinematographers, lyricists, composers, and so forth enjoy the right of attribtuion, and have the right to receive remuneration as set forth in contracts concluded with the producer.

Ownership of copyrights in audiovisual works other than those provided for in the preceding paragraph is to be determined by agreement of the parties; where there is no agreement of the agreement is unclear, they are enjoyed by the producers, but the creators enjoy the rights of attribution and to receive remuneration.

The authors of works within audiovisual works that can be used independently, such as scripts and music, have the right to independently exercise their copyrights.

Article 18: Works created by natural persons for legal persons or unincorporated organizations as a task of their work, the copyrights belong to the author except as provided in paragraph 2 of this article, but the legal person or unincorporated organization has the right to priority use within the scope of its operations. Within two years of the work being completed, the author must not permit their parties to use the works in the same fashion as the unit uses them, without the consent of the unit.

In any of the following situations, authors of works for hire have the right of attribution and the remaining copyrights are enjoyed by the legal person or unincorporated organization, and the legal person or unincorporated organization may give the authors rewards:

(1) works for hire such as engineering designs, product designs, maps, schematics, and computer software that were created primarily using the legal person or unincorporated organizations' material or technological capacity, and for which the legal person or unincorporated organization bears liability;

(2) works for hire created by the staff of newspapers, periodicals, news agencies, radio stations, and television stations;

(3) Works for hire where copyrights are enjoyed by the egal person or unincorporated organization as provided for in laws, administrative regulations, or contractual agreements.

Article 19: The ownership of copyright in commissioned works is to be agreed upon in a contract between the commissioning and the commissioned parties. Where the contract has no clear agreement or a contract was not concluded, the copyright belongs to the commissioned person.

Article 20: Ownership of the original work may be transferred without changing ownership of the copyright in the work, but the right to display works of art and films is enjoyed by the owner of the original work.

Where authors transfer ownership rights in the original of unpublished works of art or film, the transferees' display of that original does not constitute a violation of the authors' publication rights.

Article 21: Where copyrights belong to natural persons, after that natural person dies their rights provided for in items (5) - (17) of the first paragraph of article 17 of this law that are still within the period for protection are to be transferred in accordance with law.

Where copyrights belong to legal persons or unincorporated organizations, and the legal person or unincorporated organization changes or ends, its rights provided for in items (5) - (17) of article 10 of this law that are within their period of protection are to be enjoyed by the legal person or unincorporated organization that inherits its rights and obligations; and where there is no legal person or unincorporated organization inheriting the rights and obligations, the rights are enjoyed by the state.

Section 3: Term of Protection of Rights

Article 22: The term of protection of the authors' rights of authorship, modification, and integrity of the work is not limited.

Article 23: For works of natural persons, the term of protection for the right of publication and the rights specified in items (5) - (17) of Article 10, Paragraph 1 of this Law shall be the life of the author and 50 years after their death, expiring on December 31 of the 50th year after the death of the author; and if it is a collaborative work, it ends on December 31 of the fiftieth year after the death of the last author to die.

The works and copyrights (other than attribution rights) of legal persons or unincorporated organizations in works for hire are enjoyed by the legal persons or unincorporated organizations, and the protection period for their publication rights is 50 years, ending on December 31 of the fiftieth year after the creation of the work; Day; The period of protection of the rights specified in item (5) - (17) of Paragraph 1 of Article 10 of this Law is 50 years, ending on December 31 of the fiftieth year after the first publication of the work, but the work is not published within 50 years of its creation, this law will no longer protect it.

For audio-visual works, the term of protection for the right of publication is fifty years, ending on December 31 of the fiftieth year after the creation of the work; for the rights specified in items (5) - (17) of the first paragraph of Article 10 of this Law, the term of protection is fifty years, ending on December 31 of the fiftieth year after the first publication of the work, but works that have not been published within fifty years after their creation are no longer protected by this law.

Section 4: Limitation of Rights

Article 24: Using works in the following circumstances may be without the author's permission or payment of remuneration to them, but the authors' name or title, and the title of the work shall be indicated, and it must not impact the normal use of that work, and also must not unreasonably harm the rights holders lawful rights and interests:

(1) Using others' published works for personal study, research, or appreciation;

(2) Appropriately quoting from other's works in order to introduce or comment on the work or to explain a certain issue;

(3) Unavoidable representation or citation of a published work in news reporting by media such as newspapers, periodicals, radio stations, and television stations;

(4) the publication or broadcast by media such as newspapers, periodicals, radio stations, or TV stations of topical articles on political, economic, or religious issues that have already been published by other newspapers, periodicals, radio stations, radio stations, or TV stations, except where the copyright holders have made a declaration forbidding such publication or broadcast;

(5) the publication or broadcast by media such as newspapers, periodicals, radio stations, or TV stations of speeches delivered at public gatherings, except where the authors have made a declaration forbidding such publication or broadcast;

(6) translating, adapting, compiling, playing, or reproducing in a small amount works that have already been published, for classroom teaching at schools or scientific research, to be used by teaching or scientific research staffs, but [commercial] publication and distribution is prohibited;

(7) State organs using already published works for implementing their duties within a reasonable scope;

(8) Reproducing works in the collection of libraries, archives, memorial halls, museums, art galleries, cultural halls, and so forth, as required to display or preserve editions;

(9) Free performances of published works, where fees are collected from the audience, performers are not remunerated, and there is no aim to profit;

(10) Copying, painting, photography, and video recording of art works installed or displayed in public places;

(11) translating works by Chinese citizens, legal persons, or unincorporated organizations that have already been published and are created in the standard written Chinese language into works in the languages of ethnic minorities for publication and distribution in China;

(12) Providing published works in an accessible fashion that can be perceived by people with print disabilities;

(13) Other circumstances provided for by laws and administrative regulations.

The provisions of the preceding paragraph apply to restrictions on copyright-related rights.

Article 25: Textbooks compiled and published to implement compulsory education and the national education plan may aggregate already published passages or short text works, musical works, or single image artistic and photographic works and charts without the copyright holders' permission, but shall pay remuneration to the copyright holders in accordance with regulations, and indicate the authors' names or titles and the name of the work, and must not infringe on the other rights lawfully enjoyed by the copyright holders.

The provisions of the preceding paragraph apply to restrictions on copyright-related rights.

Chapter III: Copyright Licensing and Assignment Contracts

Article 26: A licensing contract shall be concluded with the copyright holder for use of works created by others, except where this law provides that use may be without a license.

Contracts for permission to use contain the following primary contents:

(1) The types of rights permitted to be used;

(2) That the licensed usage right is exclusive or non-exclusive;

(3) The geographical scope and duration of permitted use;

(4) Remuneration standards and methods;

(5) liability for breach of contract;

(6) other content that both sides believe should be agreed upon.

Article 27: A written contract shall be concluded for the assignation of the rights provided for in items (5) - (17) of the first paragraph of article 10 of this Law.

Rights transfer contracts shall contain the following main content:

(1) the name of the work;

(2) the categories of transferred rights and their geographical scope;

(3) the transfer price;

(4) The date and method of delivery of the transfer price;

(5) liability for breach of contract;

(6) other content that both sides believe should be agreed upon.

Article 28: Where property rights in copyright are pledged, the pledgor and pledgee are to handle pledge registration in accordance with law.

Article 29: Without the consent of the copyright owner, the other party must not exercise rights that are not explicitly licensed or assigned by the copyright holder in the contract permitting use or assignment contract.

Article 30: The standards for remuneration for the use of works may be set by agreement of the parties, and remuneration may also be paid in accordance with the remuneration standards drafted by the national copyright departments in conjunction with the relevant departments. Where parties' agreements are unclear, remuneration is to be paid in accordance with the remuneration standards drafted by the national copyright departments in conjunction with the relevant departments.

Article 31: Publishers, performers, audio and visual recording producers, radio stations, television stations, and so forth that use others' works in accordance with the relevant provisions of this law must not infringe upon the authors' rights of attribution, modification, rights to protect the integrity of the work, and the right to receive remuneration.

Chapter IV: Rights Related to Copyright

Section 1: Publication of Books and Periodicals

Article 32: Book publishers who publish books shall conclude a publishing contract with the copyright holder and pay remuneration.

Article 33: The exclusive publication rights that book publishers enjoy by contractual agreements in books submitted by copyright holders are protected by law, and others must not publish those works.

Article 34: The copyright holders shall deliver the work within the time limit agreed upon in the contract. The book publishers shall publish the book in accordance with the publication quality and time limits agreed upon in the contract.

Book publishers that do not publish in accordance with the timeline agreed upon in the contract shall bear civil liability in accordance with article 61 of this Law.

Where book publishers reprint or republish works, they shall notify the copyright holder, and pay remuneration. Where book publishers refuse to reprint or republish, after a book is sold out, copyright holders have the right to terminate the contract.

Article 35: Where copyright holders submit manuscripts to newspapers or periodical publishers and do not receive notice from the newspaper of a decision to publish the manuscript within 15 days from the date they sent it, or have not received notice from the periodical publisher of a decision to publish the manuscript within 30 days from the date they sent it, they may submit the same work to other newspapers and periodical publishers. Except where the parties have made other agreements.

After a work is published, except where the copyright holder has declared that it must not be reprinted or extracted, other newspapers and periodicals may reprint or publish it as abstracts or materials, but the copyright holder shall be paid remuneration in accordance with regulations.

Article 36: Book publishers may modify or abridge works with the permission of the author.

Newspaper and periodical publishers may make textual modifications and abridgments to works. Modifications of the content shall be with the authors' permission.

Article 37: Publishers have the right to permit or prohibit others from using the layout design of books and periodicals published by them.

The term of protection for the rights prescribed in the preceding paragraph is ten years, ending on December 31 of the tenth year after the first publication of the book or periodical using the layout design.

Section 2: Performances

Article 38: Performers that perform others' works shall obtain permission from the copyright holder and pay remuneration. When a performance organizer organizes a performance, that organizer is to obtain permission from the copyright holder and pay remuneration.

Article 39:Performers have the following rights to their performances:

(1) to indicate the identity of the performers;

(2) to protect against the distortion of the performer's image;

(3) To permit others to live broadcast and publicly transmit their live performances, and receive remuneration;

(4) To permit others to make audio or visual recordings, and receive remuneration;

(5) to permit others to copy, distribute, and rent audio and video recordings of their performances, and receive remuneration;

(6) to permit others to disseminate their performances to the public through the information networks, and receive remuneration.

Where licensees use works in the manners provided for in items (3) - (6) of the preceding paragraph, they shall also obtain the authors' permission and pay remuneration.

Article 40: Where the performances of performers completing their performance tasks for the performance unit are performances for hire, the performers enjoy the rights to have their identity indicated and to protect the image of the performance from distortion, and the ownership of other rights is to be in accordance with agreements. Where the parties have not made an agreement or the agreement is not clear, the right to perform professionally it to be enjoyed by the performing unit.

Where performers enjoy the right to performance for hire, the performing unit may freely use the performance within the scope of its business operations.

Article 41: The rights provided for in items (1) and (2) of the 1st paragraph of article 39 of this Law are not limited in their term of protection.

The period of protection for the rights provided for in items (3) - (6) of the first paragraph of article 39 of this Law is 50 years, ending on December 31, of the fiftieth year after a performance occurrs.

Section 3: Audio and Video Recordings

Article 42: Audio or video producers who use other people's works to make sound or video works shall obtain permission from the copyright owner and pay remuneration.

Producers of audio recordings may use musical works that have already been lawfully recorded as audio recordings to create audio recordings without the authors' permission but shall pay remuneration; and where the author declares that they do not permit the use, it must not be used.

Article 43: The producers of sound and video recordings shall conclude a contract with the performers and pay them remuneration for the production of sound and video recording works.

Article 44:Producers of audio and video recordings have the rights to permit others to copy, distribute, rent, or publicly transmit audio and video recordings they produce through information networks and obtain remuneration; the duration of the rights protection is 50 years and ends on December 31, 50 years after their first production is completed.

Those permitted to make reproductions, distribute, or publicly transmit works through information networks shall concurrently obtain permission from the rights holders and the performers, and pay remuneration; those permitted to lease the works shall also obtain the performers' permission and pay remuneration.

Article 45:Where audio recordings are used in wired or wireless public dissemination, or for public broadcast through technical equipment for transmitting sound, remuneration shall be paid to the sound recording producer.

Section 4: Broadcasting by Radio or TV Stations

Article 46:Radio and television stations broadcasting unpublished works by others shall obtain permission from the copyright holder and pay remuneration.

Radio and television stations broadcasting others' published works may do so without the authors' permission but shall pay remuneration as provided

Article 47:Radio and television stations have the right to prohibit the following conduct that does not have their permission:

(1) Rebroadcast of radio and televisions broadcasts by wired or wireless means;

(2) Recording or duplication of radio or television;

(3) Dissemination of their radio and television to the public through information networks.

Radio and television stations exercise of the rights provided for in the preceding paragraph must not affect, restrict, or infringe upon others’ exercise of copyright or copyright-related rights.

The duration for protection of the rights provided for in the first paragraph of this article is fifty years, ending on December 31 of the fiftieth year after the first broadcast on radio or television.

Article 48:Television stations broadcasting audiovisual or video recording works shall obtain the permission of the rights holders in the video works or the video recordings' producers, and pay remuneration; where they broadcast others' audio recordings, they shall also obtain the authors' permission and pay remuneration.

Chapter V: Protections of Copyrights and Rights Related to Copyright

Article 49: Right holders may take technical measures to protect copyright and copyright-related rights.

Without the rightsholder's permission, no organization or individual may intentionally circumvent or damage technical measures; manufacture, import, or make available to the public relevant devices or components for the purpose of circumventing or damaging technical measures; or intentionally provide technical services for others to circumvent or damage technical measures. However, circumstances where laws or administrative regulations provide that circumvention is permissible are exempted.

"Technical measures" as used in this Law refer to effective technologies, devices, or components that serve to prevent or restrict the browsing or enjoyment of works, performances, or audio or video recordings, or the making available to the public via information networks of works, performances, or audio or video recordings, without the rightsholder's permission.

Article 50:Technical measures may be circumvented in the following circumstances, but the technologies, devices, or components that circumstance technical measures must not be provided to others, and other rights enjoyed by the rightsholder according to law must not be infringed:

(1) providing a small number of published works to be used by teaching or scientific research personnel for classroom teaching at schools or for scientific research, where such works cannot be acquired by normal means;

(2) Providing published works in an accessible fashion that can be perceived by people with print disabilities for non-profit purposes, where such works cannot be acquired by normal means;

(3) State organs performing official duties in accordance with administrative, supervision, and judicial procedures;

(4) Conducting security tests of computers, computer systems, or networks;

(5) Conducting encryption research or research on reverse engineering computer software.

The provisions of the preceding paragraph apply to restrictions on copyright-related rights.

Article 51:The following actions must not be carried out without the permission of the right holder:

(1) intentionally deleting or altering the rights management information in works, layout designs, performances, audio or video recordings, or broadcasts or television, except where it cannot be avoided for technical reasons;

(2) Where one knows or should know that rights management information on works, layout designs, performances, audio or video recordings, or radio or television has been deleted or changed without permission, and still provides them to the public.

Article 52:Where there is any of the following infringing conduct, civil liability such as for stopping operations, eliminating impact, making formal apologies, and compensating losses shall be borne based on the circumstances:

(1) Publishing works without the permission of the copyright owner;

(2) Publishing a work created in cooperation with others as a work of one's own creation without the permission of the cooperating authors.

(3) Attaching one's name to the works of others in order to seek fame or benefit, where they did not participate in their creation;

(4) Distorting or altering others' works;

(5) Plagiarizing others' works;

(6) Use the work in the way of exhibition, filming of audiovisual works, or use the work in the ways of adaptation, translation, annotation, and so forth, without the permission of the rights holder, except as otherwise provided for in this law;

(7) Using others' works where remuneration shall be paid and not making the payment;

(8) Renting out works or the original or reproductions of audio or visual recordings without the permission of the copyright holders, performers, or producers of an audiovisual work, computer software, or audio and visual recording except as otherwise provided in this law;

(9) Using the layout design of books and periodicals published by a publisher without their permission;

(10) Broadcasting live performances on-site or publicly transmitting live performances without the performers' permission, or recording their performances without permission;

(11) Other infringements of copyrights and copyright-related rights.

Article 53:Where there is any of the following infringing conduct, civil liability prescribed by article 52 of this Law shall be borne based on the circumstances; where the infringing conduct also harms the public interest, the departments for copyright are to order that it be ceased, give a warning, and confiscate the illegal proceeds, confiscate or destruct in a harmless way the infringing copies and the materials, tools, or devices, etc. principally used for manufacturing the illegal copies, and where the illegal business revenue is over RMB 50,000, may impose a fine between one and five times the illegal business revenue; where there is no illegal business revenue or the illegal business revenue is hard to calculate or is less than RMB 50,000, a concurrent fine of less than RMB 250,000 may be imposed; where a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility is to be pursued according to law:

(1) Reproducing, distributing, performing, screening, broadcasting, compiling, or disseminating works to the public through information networks without the permission of the copyright holders, except as otherwise provided for in this law;

(2) Publishing books for which others enjoy exclusive publishing rights;

(3) Reproducing and distributing audio and video recordings of performances, or disseminating performances to the public through information networks without the permission of the performers, except as otherwise provided for in this law;

(4) Reproducing, distributing, or disseminating audio and video recordings to the public through the information network without the permission of the audio and video producer, except as otherwise provided in this law;

(5) Broadcasting, reproducing, or disseminating radio or television to the public through information networks without permission except as otherwise provided for in this law;

(6) Without the permission of the copyright holders or holders of copyright-related rights, Intentionally avoiding or destroying technical measures or intentionally creating, importing, or providing others with devices or components mainly used to avoid or destroy technical measures, or intentionally providing technical services for others to avoid or destroy technical measures, except as otherwise provided by laws and administrative regulations;

(7) Intentionally deleting or altering the rights management information on a work, layout design, performance, audio or video recording, or radio or television without the permission of the copyright holder or copyright-related rights holders, where one knows or should know that the work, layout design, performance, audio and video recordings, or radio and television rights management information are deleted or changed without the permission of the copyright holders and holders of copyright-related works, are still provides them to the public, except as otherwise provided by laws and administrative regulations;

(8) producing or selling works passing off another person’s signature.

Article 54:Where the copyright or copyright-related rights are infringed, the infringer shall give compensation according to the actual damages suffered by the rightsholder as a result or the infinger's unlawful gains; where it is difficult to calculate the rightsholder's actual damages or the infringer's unlawful gains, compensation may be given by reference to the applicable royalties. Where the copyright or copyright-related rights are infringed and the circumstances are serious, damages may be given between one and five times the amount determined according to the aforementioned methods.

Where it is difficult to calculate the rights holder's actual damages, the infringers unlawful gains, or the royalties, the people's courts are to make a judgement to give compensation between 500 and 5,000,000 RMB based on the circumstances.

The amount of compensation shall also include reasonable expenses paid by the rights holder in stopping the infringement.

Where the rights holders have already satisfied the necessary burden to produce evidence and the account books and materials related to the infringement are mainly in the hands of the infringers, the people's courts may order the infringers to provide them in order to determine the amount of compensation, and where the infringers fail to provide them or provide false account books, materials, and so forth, the people’s court may determine the amount of compensation by referring to the claims of the right holder and the evidence provided.

At the request of the rights holders, people's courts hearing cases of copyright disputes are to order the destruction of the infringing copies, except in special circumstances; order the destruction without compensation of materials, tools, equipment, and so forth that are primarily used to create infringing copies are ordered destroyed; or in special circumstances, order a prohibition of the aforementioned materials, tools, equipment, and so forth from entering commercial channels, and do not give compensation.

Article 55:When investigating suspected violations of copyrights and copyright-related rights, the departments for copyright may question the relevant parties and investigate circumstances related to the suspected illegal acts; conduct on-site inspections of the locations and items of the parties' suspected illegal acts; review and reproduce contracts, invoices, account books and other relevant materials related to the suspected illegal acts; and seal or seize the locations and items of the suspected illegal acts.

When departments for copyright lawfully perform the duties provided for in the preceding paragraph, the parties shall assist and cooperate, and must not refuse or obstruct.

Article 56:Where the copyright holders or holders of copyright-related rights have evidence proving that others are committing or about to commit acts that infringe on their rights or impedes their realization of their rights, that if not promptly stopped will cause harm to their lawful rights and interests that is difficult to undo, they may apply to the people’s court in accordance with law to take measures such as property preservation, ordering that certain actions be taken, or prohibiting certain actions.

Article 57:In order to stop infringement, in circumstances where evidence may be lost or difficult to obtain in the future, the copyright holders or the holders of copyright-related rights may apply to the people's court to preserve the evidence before initiating litigation.

Article 58:In hearing cases where copyrights or copyright-related rights are infringed, the people's courts may confiscate illegal proceeds, infringing copies, and property used for illegal activities.

Article 59:Where the publishers or producers of copies cannot prove they had legal authorization for the publication or production, or where the distributors of copies, or the renters of copies of audiovisual works, computer software, or audio or video recordings cannot prove that the copies they distribute or rent have legal sources, they shall bear legal liabilities.

During litigation procedures, where the defendant infringer claims they do not bear liability for the infringement, they shall provide evidence proving that they already obtained the permission of the rights holder, or that there are circumstances provided for in this law allowing use without permission of the rights holder.

Article 60:Disputes over copyright may be settled by mediation or be submitted for arbitration to a copyright arbitration institution under a written arbitration agreement concluded between the parties concerned, or under the arbitration clause in the copyright contract.

Where the parties do not have a written arbitration agreement, and there is no arbitration clause in the copyright contract, they may directly initiate litigation in the people's court.

Article 61:Where parties bear civil liability for not performing their contractual obligations or for performance that did not comply with provisions of the agreements, as well as where parties exercise their litigation rights or apply for preservation, relevant provisions apply.

Chapter VI: Supplementary Provisions

Article 62:"Author's rights" as used in this Law has the same meaning as "copyright".

Article 63:Publication as used to in Article 2 of this Law refers to the reproduction and distribution of works.

Article 64:The State Council is to separately provide protection measures for computer software and information network transmission rights.

Article 65: Photographic works no longer enjoy protection, where the terms of protection for their rights to publication as well as the rights provided in article 10, paragraph 1, items 5 to 17 of this Law have expired by June 1, 2021, but such rights are still within the terms of protection under article 23, paragraph 1 of this Law.

Article 66:Where the rights of copyright holders as well as publishers, performers, audio and video producers, radio stations, and TV stations as provided in this Law are still within the terms of their protection as provided in this Law as of the effective date of this Law, they are to be protected in accordance with this Law.

Infringement or breaches of contract that occurred before this law took effect are to be handled in accordance with the relevant provisions from the time when the infringement or breach of contract occurred.

Article 67:This Law is to take effect on June 1, 1991.

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