Regulation for Implementation of the Copyright Law of
the People's Republic of China
(Promulgated by the State Council on September 15,
Pursuant to the Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter
referred to as the "Copyright Law"), this Regulation is hereby
"Works" in the Copyright Law means intellectual results which
have the nature of originality and can be reproduced in a tangible form in
the fields of literature, arts and sciences.
"Creation" in the Copyright Law means the intellectual activity
which directly produces literary, artistic or scientific works.
Providing organizational work, consultation and opinions, materials
support or other assisting activities to others in their creation shall
not be considered as creation.
In the Copyright Law and this Regulation,
1. literary works mean novels, poetry, proses, theses and other works,
which are expressed in a written form;
2. oral works mean extemporaneous speeches, lectures, court debates and
other works, which are created in spoken language and are not fixed on any
3. musical works mean songs, symphonies and other works, with or without
words, which can be sung or performed;
4. dramatic works mean drama, opera, local operas and other works, which
are for the purpose of stage performance;
5. quyi works mean xiangsheng (comedy dialogue), kuanshu (rhythmic talk
accompanied with bamboo or copper clappers), dagu (ballad sung to the
accompaniment of a drum), pingshu (story telling) and other works, which
are mainly performed by singing and reciting;
6. choreographic works mean the works which are expressed or performed in
progressive body movements, gestures and facial expressions and express
thoughts and feelings;
7. acrobatic artistic works mean acrobatics, magic, and circus acts and
works that are expressed through the gestures and skills of the human body.
8. artistic works mean paintings, calligraphic works, sculptures,
architectural works and other works, which compose planar or
three-dimensional form by using lines, colors or other methods, and which
have aesthetic significance;
9. construction works mean works of aesthetic value expressed in the form
of buildings or structures.
10. photographic works mean such artistic works which, with the aid of
devices, record the physical appearance of objects on light-sensitive
11. Cinematographic works and works created by the analogous method of
film production mean such works which are recorded on a certain media, are
composed of a series of images with or without sound tracks, and are
projected or broadcast with the aid of suitable devices;
12. Graphic works mean works of engineering designs and product designs
made for the purpose of construction and production as well as maps,
sketches and other works reflecting a geographic phenomenon and
illustrating the essence of an object.
13. Model works mean three-dimensional works made according to a ratio and
to the shape and structure of an object, for the purpose of exhibition,
test and observation.
In the Copyright Law and this Regulation,
1. news of current events mean the coverage of facts and reporting by such
media as newspapers, periodicals, radio or television stations;
2. sound recordings mean the recorded products of the sounds of a
performance and other sounds;
3. video recordings mean the originally recorded products of continuing
and related images other than those cinematographic works and works
created by virtue of the analogous method of film production, with or
without sound tracks;
4. sound recording producers mean the persons who first make the sound
5. video recording producers mean the persons who first make the video
6. performers mean the entertainers, performing units or other persons who
perform the literary and artistic works.
The copyright subsists on the date of the completion of a work.
The copyright of "works of foreigners and stateless persons first
published in the territory of China" in Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of
the Copyright Law shall enjoy protection from the date it is first
Works of foreigners and stateless persons first published outside China is
considered a work simultaneously published in China if it is published in
China within 30 days of its first publication outside China.
Where a joint work cannot be separately exploited, the copyright of the
work shall be enjoyed and exercised by all the co-authors through
consultation; and where the co-authors fail to reach a consensus over the
exercise of the copyright through consultation, any contributor may not
obstruct, without reasonable grounds, the other contributors from
exercising any rights other than the licensing rights in the said work.
However, the income incurred thereof shall be reasonably distributed among
all the co-authors.
Where a copyright owner authorizes others to make his or her work into a
cinematographic work or a work created by virtue of the analogous method
of film production, it shall be considered that the said owner allows
necessary alternation on his or her work, but such alternation may not
distort or mutilate the original work.
"Tasks" provided in Paragraph 1 of Article 16 in the Copyright
Law regarding works produced in the course of employment mean the duties
that citizens are obliged to carry out for legal persons or other
"The material and technical resources" provided in Paragraph 1
of Article 16 regarding works produced in the course of employment mean
the funds, equipment and documents provided to citizens by legal persons
or other organizations specially for the fulfillment of the creative work.
Within two years of completing the work and in accordance with the
proportion agreed upon, the author and his or her unit shall divide the
receipts thus obtained when the author, upon approval by his or her unit,
allows a third party to use his or her work in the same manner of
exploitation by the unit.
In regard to a work of which the author could not be identified, the legal
holder of the original copy of the work shall exercise the copyright other
than the authorship right. After the author is identified, the author or
his or her heir shall exercise the copyright in the said work.
Where the author in a joint work as provided in Paragraph 1 (5) and (17)
of Article 10 of the Copyright Law does not have a successor or a
beneficiary endowed by the will after his or her death, their co-author
rights shall be enjoyed by the other co-authors.
The heir or other bequeathed beneficiary of an author shall, after the
author dies, protect the rights of authorship, protect the integrity and
save the works from alteration.
The administrative management department of the Copyright Authority shall
protect the rights of authorship and integrity, and prevent the
alternation in the copyright of works which there is no heir and other
The administrative management department of the Copyright Authority shall
exercise the copyright that is enjoyed by the State.
The publishing right in an unpublished work, which the author fails
expressly to state is not to be published may, within 50 years after the
death of the author, be exercised by the author's heir or other bequeathed
beneficiary. If there is no heir or other bequeathed beneficiary to the
work, the said right shall be exercised by the owner of the original copy
of the said work.
The term of protection for the rights in a work of which the author is
unidentified is 50 years, as provided in Paragraph 1 (5) and (17) of
Article 10 of the Copyright Law. This terms of protection ends on December
31 of the 50th year from the first publication of the work. If the
identity of the author is known, the provisions of Article 21 of the
Copyright Law shall apply.
The name of the author and the name of his or her work shall be identified
when his or her work is exploited by others, except when the parties have
agreed otherwise or when there is no way to make the identification due to
the special property of the exploitation method.
Published works as provided by the Copyright Law mean works made available
to the public by the copyright owner or to others authorized by the
Whoever exploits the published work of others without the authorization of
the copyright owner, pursuant to the Copyright Law, may not preclude the
normal exploitation of the work and infringe the lawful rights and
interests of the copyright owner of the work.
The penalty for the exploitation of works provided in Article 23,
Paragraph 2 of Article 32 and Paragraph of Article 39 of the Copyright Law
shall be decided and promulgated by the administrative management
department of the Copyright Authority of the State Council together with
the price management department of the State Council.
Those wishing to exploit the works shall enter into a license agreement
with the copyright owner. If the licensed rights are exclusive
exploitation rights, a written contract shall be entered, except when the
works are published by newspapers or periodicals.
The nature of the "exclusive right of use" provided in article
24 of the Copyright Law shall be defined within the license agreement.
Where the license rights are not defined or not explicitly defined, a user
who has obtained a particular exclusive right of use is entitled to
prevent anyone else to use the work in the same manner, including the
copyright owner; and if the user permits a third party to exercise the
same right, he must obtain consent from the owner of copyright, except as
otherwise agreed upon by the license agreement.
The exclusive license agreement and any assignment agreement entered with
the copyright owner may be filed with the Copyright Authorities.
"Copyright-related rights" in the Copyright Law and this
Regulation means the right enjoyed by the publishers over the format
design of the books, newspapers and periodicals they published; the rights
enjoyed by the performers over their performances; the rights enjoyed by
the sound or video recording producers over their sound or video
recordings they have made; and the rights enjoyed by radio or television
stations over the radio or television programs they have produced.
Publishers, performers, sound and video recording producers, radio and
television stations, when exercising their rights, may not harm the
copyright owners rights in the works used and in the original works.
Where, pursuant to an agreement, the exclusive publishing right is granted
to a publisher without specifying the content of the right, the publisher
shall be regarded as having the right to publish the book in the same
manner as the original edition, revised edition or abridged version in the
same language within the term and geographic area agreed upon.
If the copyright owner makes two consecutive purchase orders for the works
and the publisher fails to fill the purchase orders within six months, it
will be considered "the stocks of the book are exhausted" as in
Article 31 of the Copyright Law.
Pursuant to Paragraph 2 of Article 32 of the Copyright Law, a copyright
owner who declares that any reprinting or excerpting is not allowed, shall
attach the declaration to the said work when it is first published in a
newspaper or periodical.
To declare that the production of sound recording products of a copyright
owners work is not permitted pursuant to paragraph 3 of Article 39 of the
Copyright Law, the copyright owner shall make a statement to this effect
at the same time when the sound-recording products of the work are
Pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 32 and paragraph 3 of Article 39 of the
Copyright Law, whoever uses a work belonging to another shall make payment
to the owner of the copyright work within 2 month of the work being used.
The Copyright Law protects performances given by foreigners and stateless
persons in China.
The international treaties ratified by China shall protect the rights
enjoyed by foreigners and stateless persons in accordance with the
The Copyright Law protects sound recordings made and distributed by
foreigners and stateless persons within China.
The international treaties ratified by China shall protect sound
recordings made and distributed by foreigners and stateless persons in
accordance with the Copyright Law.
The rights enjoyed by foreign radio and television organizations in their
broadcasts pursuit to the international treaties to which China has
acceded shall be protected under the Copyright Law.
The acts of infringement listed in Article 47 of the Copyright Law, which
have at the same time caused damage to the social and public interest, the
administrative management department of the Copyright Authority shall
impose a fine not exceeding three times the amount of the illegal business
gains, or a maximum fine of RMB 100,000 when it is difficult calculate the
amount of the illegal business gains.
The administrative departments of the local people's governments Copyright
Authority are responsible for investigating and disposing of the copyright
infringing acts listed in Article 47 of the Copyright Law, which have at
the same time caused damage to the social and public interest.
The administrative department of the Copyright Authority under the
authority of the State Council is responsible for investigating and
prosecuting copyright infringing acts of national significance and
This Regulation shall enter into force on September 15, 2002. The
Regulation for Implementation of the Copyright Law of the People's
Republic of China approved by the State Council on May 24, 1991 and
promulgated by the State Administration of Copyright on May 30, 1991 shall
be repealed on the same date.