There’s been a lot of grumbling and ramblings on weibo and among musicians in Beijing about the new proposed copyright laws put forward on March 31st. Let’s just say they’re not happy about this at all and I don’t see foreign IPR holders being happy about it either. Here is an extract from China.org
The National Copyright Administration published a preliminary amendment draft to revise China’s copyright laws on its official website on Mar 31. Posted to collect public opinion and constructive feedback, bloggers and music producers singled out Articles 46 and 48 for closer study.
According to Article 46, any record producer who acts pursuant to Article 48 shall have the right to make recordings of musical works owned by another, without needing authorization from the original owner, given that the content had been published for three months or longer.
Article 48 stipulates guidelines for individuals or corporations who use non-original content: contact the National Copyright Administration department under the State Council; specify the original author and source of material; and submit a usage fee to the copyright collective administration organizations as stipulated by the National Copyright Administration within one month of use. The copyright collective administration organizations will then transfer payment to relevant parties.
Article 46 has dropped a bomb on the music industry, and has generated negative feedback from famous artists such as Li Guangping, Gao Xiaosong and Wang Feng. They believe Article 46 will harm the interests of original music producers.
There are a couple of things to consider here:
– This is just a proposed draft. Nothing is official yet!
– Essentially, after 3 months, artists would lose control over their work… this is the part that most musicians i spoke to were pissed off about. They’re used to having covers of their songs but there were means to stop unfair use! Now, they legally have no right to say NO. So, if a brand wants to use your song for a commercial and you can’t agree on fees, they can hire someone to cover it and get away with it.
– The Usage Fee is another contentious point! How will original content creators get paid? and how much? Who would be held accountable?
I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this… I’m curious to see how it will unfold! I’m also quite surprised that the foreign media has not picked up on this yet. Usually, they have a field day with IPR related stuff.