New Challenges of Chinese Copyright Law in the Digital Age

Seagull H. Song, New Challenges of Chinese Copyright Law in the Digital Age, The Commercial Press, 2011

Loyola-LA Legal Studies Paper No. 2012-27

Posted: 4 Aug 2012

See all articles by Seagull Song

Seagull Song

Loyola Law School Los Angeles

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2011


The English version of this paper can be found at

Under what circumstances should Internet Service Providers (ISPs) be held liable when copyrighted material is made available over the Internet without authorization of rights holders? Is Google’s controversial Library Project to scan millions of books into digital format an ambitious plan for public good or is it just another format of copyright infringement under the digital age? When audience enjoys watching live broadcasts of sports events, who are the rights holders behind the scene, and how do they protect their rights and interests from being infringed? All these questions have become highly important under the digital age, and therefore drawn serious attention from legal scholars and legislators worldwide. For direction, the world looks to influential legal regimes arising from the U.S. copyright law, the EU Directives, along with the jurisprudence and legal theory that attaches to each. But the world also looks to China, where a rapidly evolving legal regime holds its own course. This very useful book compares the legislation and case law of Chinese copyright law with those of the United States and European countries, focusing on three subjects - the liability of Internet Service Providers, the ‘fair use’ versus ‘fair dealing’ copyright doctrine, and the copyrightability of live sports telecasts - all of which are unsettled questions of law under the existing copyright regime.

Among the important aspects covered are the following: secondary liability theories worldwide, including contributory liability, vicarious liability, inducement liability and joint liability; legislative and technology responses to online piracy: “graduated response” program and fingerprint filtering technology; pros and cons of the fair-use doctrine v. fair-dealing doctrine; different outcomes of the Google litigation worldwide; copyrightability of sports telecasts; China’s strategy in combating online piracy of live sports telecasts during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games.

The author draws on numerous case studies from several countries and on the full range of legal theory in the field to explore how these copyright issues are treated differently in each country. In addition, addressing problems and uncertainties under the existing PRC copyright law, she proposes a number of measures to be considered in China’s legislative reform process. Although for this reason the book will be especially valuable to parties concerned with Chinese law, the centrality of the subject and its comparative legal analysis is sure to appeal to interested lawyers, policymakers, and scholars worldwide.

Suggested Citation

Song, Seagull, New Challenges of Chinese Copyright Law in the Digital Age (2011). Seagull H. Song, New Challenges of Chinese Copyright Law in the Digital Age, The Commercial Press, 2011; Loyola-LA Legal Studies Paper No. 2012-27. Available at SSRN:

Seagull Song (Contact Author)

Loyola Law School Los Angeles ( email )

919 Albany Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-1211
United States

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