China Revises Software Copyright Registration Measures

A new version of the Measures on Software Copyright Registration, which was revised to meet with the World Trade Organization (WTO) requirements, came into effect recently, sources told a news conference in Beijing Monday.

The new version is in line with China's amended Copyright Law, passed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on October 27, 2001, and the Regulations on Software Protection Measures, which came into effect on January 1, 2002.

Chinese software copyright holders are permitted by the revised Measures, effective since February 20, 2002, to choose whether or not to register their products with the China Copyright Protection Center (CCPC), the country's official copyright registration institution. This meets the WTO regulation that software copyright should be protected even if not registered.

It was compulsory for software copyright holders to register their products before the recent revision of the regulations, said Xu Chao, Vice Director of Copyright Department, National Copyright Administration (NCA).

However, the new Measures still encourages software developers to register with the CCPC, which will provide reliable and traceable copyright information and assist in the settlement of software copyright disputes.

At present, most CCPC software copyright holders are domestic software developers. Since the registration measures demand software developers provide source code pieces, foreign brands are usually reluctant to register, fearing technology secrets could be leaked, Xu Chao said.

The Measures were revised to make copyright registration more convenient for software developers, shortening the former three-month application period to the present 60 days and vowing to build more CCPC registration outlets across the country.

Statistics show that 1,500 and 3,380 software were registered with the CCPC in 1999 and 2000 respectively. The number rocketed to a record 7,000 in 2001 and is widely expected to rise further.

(People’s Daily March 6, 2002)

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