China releases 2020 report on digital copyright protection

On June 1, the National Copyright Administration of the People’s Republic of China (NCAC) released its annual report on the adequacy and effectiveness of the country’s protection and enforcement of digital copyright. In 2020, the NCAC registered a total of 5,039,543 works whose authors filed claims to copyright, an increase of 20.37% from the previous year. The “Sword Net Action”, an annual campaign aimed at cracking down on online piracy and copyright infringement, was carried out last June, when 3,239,400 links to pirated content were removed and 2,884 infringing websites and apps were shut down.

In the report, copyright registration, the certifying of model cities and companies of copyright protection, and the convergence of the country’s three big networks (the Internet, telecoms networks, and TV broadcasting networks) are listed as three major constituents of the infrastructure of digital copyright protection. Blockchain and DRM (digital rights management) are indicated to have become part of the toolkit for copyright owners and copyright law enforcement entities. Having been widely adopted in the country’s court system, blockchain has ensured the security and legality of the generation, collection, storage, and transmission of digital evidence. Among the blockchain-based pilot programs nationwide, the “Tianping Blockchain” program initiated by the Beijing Internet Court has become an exemplary instance.

A digital network of copyrighted works is being built for their better utilization. China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS) has signed 279 agreements with more than 100 publishing houses and cultural companies to deal with the licensing of copyrighted works for compilation in 350 categories of books and the payment of their authors’ remuneration in a one-stop manner. The licensing of the right of communication through information network and the right of compilation of these copyrighted works have generated 75.4% of the revenue of these authors. The Music Copyright Society of China (MCSC) has received 408 million yuan as licensing fees, about half of which has been generated from the licensing of the right of communication through information network. There are 185 copyright infringement cases filed in 2020, of which 25 cases are about the infringement of the right of communication through information network.

@2021 China IP Magazine