First Chinese Action for Unauthorised Public Performance of Sound Recordings

March 2004

Record Labels, Music Publishers

Proceedings in China’s first-ever lawsuit over copyright infringement for background music allegedly being played for profit-making purposes began in a Beijing court. Chang’an Department Store, a major retail outlet in the capital, has been charged for the infringement by the Music Copyright Society of China. The lawsuit court session started yesterday at the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People’s Court. This case is the first of its kind since the country’s Copyright Law was amended in 2001. In its indictment, the plaintiff is seeking a compensation of 228,100 yuan (US$27,600) for the accused store’s use of background music, whose copyright is managed by the society, without being authorized and paying fees to the society. No judgement was made in the case, and an announcement for the next session is yet to be made public. The Music Copyright Society of China is the country’s only officially recognised organisation for music copyright administration.
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