China's Copyright Protection for Audio-Visual Works: A Comparison with Europe and the U.S.

Int'l Rev. of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Volume 46, 2015

Loyola-LA Legal Studies Paper No. 2014-44

30 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2014 Last revised: 8 May 2016

See all articles by Seagull Song

Seagull Song

Loyola Law School Los Angeles

Date Written: October 14, 2014

Abstract

One of the most heated debates in the current Chinese Copyright Law Revision is copyright protection of films. Individual creators/authors of films (such as a film director or script writer) have criticized the current rule, which vests copyright ownership of a film with the producer of a film, as depriving them of a fair opportunity to share in the commercial success of their work. As a result, the guilds representing individual creators have been lobbying to change the current “producer-ownership” rule to “individual creator-ownership” model, or as an alternative, leaving copyright ownership of films to be decided by contract. Not surprisingly, movie studios are objecting to such a proposed change.

To build a successful movie industry, China is looking for inspiration from the Hollywood model — the US copyright protection of films. Yet because China’s copyright system is based on the Continental European model, a comparison with its origin — France and Germany, seems inevitable. This paper compares copyright protection of films in France, Germany and the U.S. with China (from its first Copyright Law in 1999, its subsequent revisions until the most recent one), in terms of film authorship, ownership and remuneration scheme. In the end, the author proposes a hybrid model for China — reserving the Continental European concept of moral rights for individual authors, while vesting ownership of a film with the producer of a film, and at the same time, introducing a more balanced remuneration scheme for individual creators in a film.

Suggested Citation

Song, Seagull, China's Copyright Protection for Audio-Visual Works: A Comparison with Europe and the U.S. (October 14, 2014). Int'l Rev. of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Volume 46, 2015, Loyola-LA Legal Studies Paper No. 2014-44, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2510180

Seagull Song (Contact Author)

Loyola Law School Los Angeles ( email )

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

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