All information contained herein is provided by courtesy of Tiance and all the information we provide in this page are based upon our practice experience and current situation of the copyright protection in the P.R. China. It is for informational purposes only. It should not and may not be construed as legal advice. Any reader of this information should not act upon it without seeking professional counsel. However, it is hoped that the information provided here will be helpful to this site's visitors in familiarizing them with issues that may affect them.
The copyright protection system of China is established based on the Constitution, Civil Law, Criminal Law, Heritage Law and Copyright Law. The current Copyright Law makes comparatively clear and complete regulations on copyright and its protection, it is the basic law of China on copyright protection.
China also joined Berne Convention on July 10, 1992, this Convention became effective in China on October 15, 1992. China further joined World Copyright Convention on July 30, 1992, this Convention became effective in China on October 30, 1992.
The Chinese Copyright Law was promulgated in 1990 and became effective on June 1, 1991. Since China joined Berne Convention in October 1992, when a work is completed in one of the member state of the Berne Convention, it enjoys copyright protection in China automatically. However, to a work finished in a non-member state, to enjoy copyright protection, the work should be first published in a member state of Berne Convention. The protection term of Chinese copyright to an individual author is the whole life and the 50 years after death, if the author is an entity, it is 50 years from the first publication of the work.
In accordance with the Chinese law and practice, it is not compulsory to register copyright of a work, however, registration is suggested in order to handle copyright disputes more conveniently, this is because the registration certificate can be regarded as a prima facie evidence of ownership.
To obtain a copyright registration in China, a foreign applicant must entrust a Chinese agency to file an application with the Chinese Copyright Office. The Chinese Copyright Office has its branch offices in each province or municipality, like the Sichuan Copyright Office, to handle the application and issue the registration certificate which is valid nationwide in China.