By Hao Nan ( China Daily)

The third version of a draft amendment to the copyright law is finally complete after long public review and repeated discussions among experts, according to the National Copyright Administration.

"We are now working on the legislative explanation for the draft amendment and will submit it to the State Council by the end of the year," said Wang Ziqiang, director of the NCA's legal affairs department.

If approved, the draft will be presented to the National People's Congress Standing Committee, China's top legislature, for consideration, Wang noted.

According to the copyright official, the draft has 90 clauses, 29 more than the existing law, and more protection for copyright holders.

He said major changes include protection of artists' rights to profit from the resale of their works and more avenues for statutory compensation to copyright owners.

New measures in the draft also include punitive compensation for copyright violations and increased monetary awards.

The scope of presumption of fault has also been expanded.

The draft also has a clause mandating so-called statutory licensing that sets a standard fee and permits use of a work without seeking the copyright holder's prior consent.

"It is a restriction on copyright holders to satisfy the demands of the public for artistic works. It promotes information dissemination, but needs improvement in remuneration protection for the copyright holders," said Zhang Hongbo, secretary-general of China Written Works Copyright Society.

The draft mandates formation of a copyright management administration to collect fees even if copyright holder cannot be found.

It also references the country's other intellectual property laws and copyright laws in other countries and regions.

The first version of the draft was published in March to seek public feedback. The administration received more than 1,600 suggestions from government sectors, courts, the music industry, website operators and software companies. The second version was published four months later.

Wang said many suggestions have been adopted in the third version, but drafters were careful to avoid bias.

Reasonable suggestions that were not adopted in the draft will also be given to the State Council along with the draft, he said.

 

haonan@chinadaily.com.cn

 

Source: CHINA DAILY

Date: November 07, 2012

After a long review, latest draft of new copyright law