China Revises Computer Software Copyright Protection Regulations
Feb. 22 – China’s State Council released the “Decision on Revising the Regulation on Computer Software Protection (Order of the State Council No. 632)” on January 30, 2013, which increases the maximum fine imposed on certain copyright infringement actions from RMB50,000 to RMB200,000. Detailed information relating to the “Revised Computer Software Protection Regulation (hereinafter referred to as ‘Regulation’)” can be found below.
For the purposes of the Regulation, computer software refers to computer programs and relevant documents (such as user or instruction booklets for the program).
Software developed by Chinese citizens, legal persons or organizations will enjoy copyright protection in accordance with the Regulation, regardless of whether or not such software has been released.
Software developed by foreigners or stateless persons will also enjoy copyright protection in accordance with the Regulation if their initial software release takes place within China.
With respect to software developed by foreigners or stateless persons, the copyright will be protected under the Regulation in the following circumstances:
- The copyright was granted under agreements between China and the home country or habitual residence of the software developer; or
- The copyright was granted under international treaties to which China is a signatory.
A software copyright owner shall be entitled to the following rights:
- Publication rights
- Authorship rights
- Alteration rights
- Reproduction rights
- Distribution rights
- Rental rights
- Rights of dissemination via an information network
- Translation rights
- Other rights to which a software copyright owner shall be entitled. Software copyright owners may authorize others to exercise their copyright, or assign all or part of their copyright to others, and are entitled to remuneration.
Software copyright commences from the date on which the software has been developed.
With respect to a natural person’s software copyright, the term of protection shall be the entire natural lifetime of the person, plus an additional 50 years. The software copyright shall end on December 31st of the 50th year after the individual’s decease. In the case of co-developed software, the term of protection shall end on December 31st of the 50th year after the decease of the last natural person.
With respect to software copyright of a legal person or other organizations, the term of protection shall be 50 years, and shall end on December 31st of the 50th year after the software’s initial release. If such software remains unreleased within 50 years after being developed, it shall no longer be protected by the Regulation.
The Regulation has increased the maximum fine imposed on certain copyright infringement actions. According to Article 24 of the Regulation, without consent from the software copyright owner, the following infringement actions may result in civil or criminal liabilities.
- Reproducing or partly reproducing a copyright owner’s software
- Distributing, leasing or disseminating a copyright owner’s software to the public via information network
- Intentionally evading or disrupting the technological measures adopted by the copyright owner for protection of his or her software copyright
- Intentionally deleting or modifying the electronic information regarding the software rights management
- Assigning or authorizing others to exercise the software copyright of a copyright owner
Under the circumstances specified in Item (1) or Item (2) above, a fine of RMB100 per item or a fine of more than 100 percent but less than 500 percent of the value of the product in question may be imposed concurrently.
Under the circumstances specified in Item (3), Item (4) or Item (5) above, a fine of no more than RMB200,000 may be imposed concurrently.
The Regulation is scheduled to take effect on March 1, 2013.
Dezan Shira & Associates is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia.
You can stay up to date with the latest business and investment trends across China by subscribing to Asia Briefing’s complimentary update service featuring news, commentary, guides, and multimedia resources.
Intellectual Property Rights in China (Second Edition)
From covering protocol for dealing with trade fairs, to the application processes for trademarks, patents, copyright and licensing, as well as dealing with infringements and enforcement, this book is a practical reference for those concerned with their IPR in China.
- Previous Article China-South Korea Sign Social Insurance Contribution Agreement and Protocal
- Next Article China Releases Intellectual Property Plan for Strategic Emerging Industries