Judicial Interpretation on Computer Network Copyright Issues in the People’s Republic of China

On December 19, 2000, the Supreme Court issued the Explanations on Legal Issues regarding Copyright Dispute Cases relating to Computer Networks (Judicial Explanation). The main points of the Judicial Explanation are as follows: · The Copyright Law lists the kinds of works that are eligible for Copyright protection. The Judicial Interpretation clarifies that the scope of protection extends to digital forms of these protected works. Other products of intellectual creation that are not defined in the Copyright Law, but are original creations in literature, art and science and can be duplicated in certain tangible forms, shall also be protected by the People''s Courts. · Public dissemination of works via the Internet is a form of exploitation under the Copyright Law. The copyright holder is entitled to the rights of such exploitation and to the remuneration through license or similar contractual agreement. · If a work has been published in newspapers, magazines or disseminated through computer networks and does not bear a "copying or editing is forbidden" statement, a website holder may use that work on its website without the author''s approval, but it must quote the source and pay remuneration to the copyright holder. · Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who participate in copyright infringement via the Internet, or instigate or assist others in copyright infringement via the Internet, shall be responsible for their share of the infringement. · Internet content providers (ICPs) shall be liable for copyright infringements of their users, if they are fully aware of such copyright infringement, or despite warnings from the copyright holder who has adequate evidence, fail to take measures such as deleting the content involving copyright infringement. Absent convincing reasons, ICPs must provide data on the suspected copyright violator.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

Case Study Concerning Unauthorized Dissemination of Published Works
Case Study Concerning Copyrightability Of Webpages
Liabilities of ICPs.

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