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Equal Copyright Protection for Foreigners
Foreign copyright owners will receive legal protection equal to that of their Chinese counterparts, according to a new regulation for the implementation of the Copyright Law.

The current regulation stipulates that only the State copyright authority is eligible to handle complaints of infringement on foreigners' copyrights.

The new regulation, expected to take effect on September 15, eliminates this restriction and allows foreign copyright owners to seek redress from local administrations.

Based on the Copyright Law which was revised by the top legislature in October of last year, the new regulation was designed by the State Council to honour China's commitments to the World Trade Organization and make the law more practical.

The revised Copyright Law empowers administrative bodies to stop infringements on copyrights and confiscate illegal products and the profits made from them.

The new regulation mainly deals with the handling of administrative disputes over copyrights concerning foreign parties, ownership and practice of copyrights and punishment for copyright infringement.

The regulation says protection of the copyrights held by foreigners or stateless persons whose works were first published in China starts from the day their works are published.

The same level of protection will be given if their works are published in China within 30 days after being first published outside China.

Performances and recorded works produced and issued in China by foreigners or stateless persons are also under protection.

The State also protects programs broadcast by foreign radio and television stations, according to the new regulation.

(China Daily August 16, 2002)

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