China listens to musicians and issues a second draft of copyright law revision

August 2012

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China has released a second draft revision of its Copyright Law for public comment, dropping the controversial Article 46 that raised an outcry from Chinese musicians who said it violated their rights by allowing record producers to use another artist’s music without obtaining consent as long as the work had been published for more than three months. The second draft of the law eliminates Article 46 and makes a number of changes in response to more than 1,600 comments submitted during a 30-day comment period on the first draft in April. The new draft also removes the requirement to register for copyright if statutory damages were to apply and also appears to put some liability for infringing activity onto ISPs saying that a network service provider who “instigates or helps others to infringe …  shall be jointly liable.”

The National Copyright Administration of the People’s Republic of China (NCAC) released the second draft of the copyright law on its website July 6, and will accept comments by fax or letter until July 31. The NCAC is expected to issue another one or two drafts by October, and the final will be submitted to the State Council Legislative Affairs Office for further review. (CNCA Chinese text)

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