China sets up karaoke copyright collection system

July 2008

All areas

China ’s Audio and Video Copyright Collective Management Association has finally been set up in Beijing after a gestation period of 10 years to implement China’s “Copyright Collective Management Rule”. The association will manage audio- and video-related issues as well as assuming the duty of collecting karaoke copyright fees, previously discharged by the China Audio and Video Association. The new organisation will have power to take civil, administrative and even criminal measures against copyright infringers.

However, this month also saw the news that BeeGee Robin Gibb, President of CISAC, the worldwide consortium of trade associations that represent songwriters and other creators, has called on the Chinese government to end all the copyright violations in China. Using the upcoming Olympics as a reason for focusing attention on the creative industries in the country, Gibb says that it’s not only the country’s mass pirated CD market that is a problem, questioning why Chinese broadcasters still do not pay royalties for music they use. Speaking at the CISAC General Assembly in Rome, the Bee Gee said: “How is it and how can it be that in China, the most populated country in the world and the organiser of the 2008 Olympic Games, the Chinese television and radio stations still pay no royalties to the Chinese and international creators of the works they broadcast? As a composer and in the name of creators worldwide, I call on the Chinese authorities to respect creators’ rights!” Chinese law was actually changed in 2001 to recognise the requirement to pay creators a performance royalty on their work, but CISAC say that so far that has not, in reality, been implemented. Since the new law came into being, the body reckons, copyright owners have been deprived of some $41 million of broadcast royalties they are, in theory, due.

CMU Daily 10 June 2008

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