In a move designed to assist in the protection of intellectual property rights China has issued a guide on complaints against copyright infringement on Friday.
"The purpose of this guide is to strengthen copyright protection," said Xu Chao, deputy director-general of China's National Copyright Administration. "This is part of China's campaign to protect intellectual property rights."
When a copyright owner discovers an infringement they can file a complaint with the copyright administrative department where the infringement has taken place or where the consequences of the infringement arise, the guide says.
The copyright administrative department in accepting a complaint may take a variety of legal actions. It can order the infringement to stop, confiscate unlawful income, seize materials and equipment used in the production of copies and impose fines.
A complainant can be anyone who holds a copyright or the rights relating to it in accordance with the Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China. Included are users who enjoy an exclusive right of exploitation according to law or an interested party.
Xu said there are two circumstances under which complaints can be accepted from foreigners. If a country has signed the same international copyright treaties as China has or or if a foreigner from a non-treaty country has his works published in a country that signed the treaty, his copyright will be protected in China.
China would not protect a foreigner's copyright beyond the above, he said.
A complaint should be filed to the copyright administrative department within two years of the infringement being committed according to the guide.
(Xinhua News Agency April 29, 2006)