IV. Copyright Protection

China's legal system for copyright protection was gradually established in the 1990s, with the implementation of the "Copyright Law" as a hallmark in this process. In recent years, China has made revisions to the "Copyright Law." It has also promulgated a number of regulations with legal effect, such as "Regulations on the Protection of Computer Software," "Regulations for the Implementation of the Copyright Law," "Procedures for the Implementation of Administrative Sanctions Concerning Copyright," and "Regulations on the Collective Management of Copyright." The promulgation and implementation of these legal documents have laid a solid legal foundation for copyright protection.

At present, China has formed a three-level copyright administrative management system: the State Copyright Bureau, copyright bureaus at the provincial level and the prefectural (city) level. Governments of various provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government have constantly consolidated their copyright administrative management departments and made improvements to the system of copyright administrative management and law enforcement.

In recent years, China's copyright administrative management departments at all levels have strengthened their administrative enforcement of the copyright law. They have increased cooperation with other government departments, such as the departments of public security, industry and commerce, the customs, press and publications, and cultural departments. As a result, a mechanism of law enforcement whereby different departments are coordinated in combating copyright infringement and piracy has gradually taken shape. The copyright administrative management departments have always maintained the pressure on copyright infringement and piracy. They have launched several campaigns to crack down on pirated discs, textbooks, reference books, software, illegal duplication and selling of audio-video products, selling of smuggled audio-video products and Internet infringement practices. Positive achievements have been made. According to incomplete statistics, from 1995 to 2004, copyright administrative management departments at all levels confiscated 350 million pirated copies, accepted 51,368 cases of infringement and resolved 49,983 of them. In 2004, they accepted 9,691 cases of infringement, resolved 9,497 of them and imposed administrative sanctions on the infringers in 7,986 cases. These included the investigation and punishment of two Chinese enterprises that had infringed upon the copyright of the Microsoft Corporation of the United States and other major cases.

While establishing and improving its copyright legal system and strengthening its copyright administrative management, China also attaches great importance to the establishment of a copyright public service system. At present, China has established a copyright public management and service system consisting of copyright collective management organs, copyright agencies, copyright protection associations, professional associations and organizations of copyright holders. In 1988, the Copyright Agency of China was established. In 1990, the Copyright Research Society of China was established and its name was changed to Copyright Society of China in 2002. In 1993 the China Copyright Society of Works of Music was established. And in 1998, the Copyright Protection Center of China was established. At present, writers' associations, such as China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, China Writers' Association and China Film Association as well as professional associations of book publishers, producers of audio-video products and software developers have established their own copyright protection organizations. Copyright societies have been established in more than 20 provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government) and some major cities. Preparatory work is under way to establish China's collective copyright management organizations of works of the written language and of audio-video products.