Why Ultraman Movie‘s Copyright Holder Confronts Obstacle in Claiming His Right over Ultraman Doll?


(By Albert Chen) When the character in a film or television work satisfies the originality element, it could constitute as an independent work under the Copyright Law. But in that situation, the right holder of the film and television work could not necessarily claim the copyright over the character in it, and any infringement against the character shall be fought back by its designer or the licensee of the designer.

Case Summary

In 2009, China Shanghai Character License Administrative Corporation (“SCLA” hereinafter) gained the exclusive license from Tsuburaya Company for Ultraman Diga’s reproduction rights, distribution rights, rental and merchandising rights, and as well as the right to relicense the above rights within the territory of mainland China. After that, SCLA found that Hubei Xinyijia Supermarket Co., Ltd. ( “Xinyijia” hereinafter) has been selling out the Ultraman Diga toys, and thereafter SCLA filed their lawsuit in the court.


Whether using the Name of Another’s Work Constitutes Copyright Infringement or Unfair Competition

Abstract: The Copyright Law and the Anti Unfair Competition Law supplement each other, but they also compete with each other. In the case introduced in this article, the first instance court denied the copyright infringement claim, but confirmed liability under the principles of unfair competition. This seems to be logically contradictory, and the court in the second instance corrected this glaring mistake.

(By Luo Yanjie Unfair competition refers to an operator’s misconduct that violates principles of fairness, justice, and good faith; it is also considered any behavior that violates widely adopted commercial ethics. As for copyright, as a kind of exclusive right, it mainly focuses on granting the right holder a monopolistic right in conformance with the law, and thereby grants the right holder monopoly rights as well as a competitive advantage through the exploitation of his/her own intellectual works. In this particular aspect, it shares a similar purpose with the Anti Unfair Competition Law. For this reason, the Copyright Law and the Anti Unfair Competition Law supplement each other, yet on the other hand they also compete with each other.


Is School Teaching a Method of Publicizing Work in China?

(By Luo Yanjie) According to the Copyright Law, the copyright holder has more than ten exclusive rights. Because of the many kinds of works and complexity of society’s use of the work, the copyright holder is often unclear about the differences between the exclusive rights and may have a very vague understanding of the fair use system, a system which can cut against the copyright. Although the case introduced in this essay is fundamentally not a rights protection case, the judgment clarifies the methods used for publication and expands the scope of the fair use copyright exception. The following is a summary and analysis of the case:


Will Magic be Protected as A Work under China’s Copyright Law?


(By Luo Yanjie) Magic has long been a popular medium with which to entertain an audience, and how one should legally protect magic has long been a problem in the law. This problem has become especially obvious now that we have seen arguments regarding magic and the requirement that an expression be “original” as stipulated in the Copyright Law. Today, we would like to introduce to our readers how China protects magic works based on a case heard by the Beijing No.1 Intermediate People’s Court, which can be considered the first established case concerning the magic work.


How Does the Federal Trade Commission Decide Whether Intellectual Property Licenses Violate Anti-trust Laws?

Day Five of the US Visit II

In late March, the author had the opportunity to make a journey to the United States at the invitation of the U.S. government in order to better understand how the US intellectual system operates. On the fifth day of the visit, the author went to the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”), and the following is a brief record of his visit there.

The FTC is the administration in charge of investigating and taking action against unfair competition and anti trust in the US. During the visit, FTC officials showed us a map showing that as of 1900, only the US and Canada had enacted competition laws, including unfair competition law and the anti trust law. Later by 1960, Sweden, France, and Japan passed legislation on competition. By 1980, many countries in Europe and South America passed competition laws, as well as Australia, India, Thailand, and South Africa. By 2012, almost all states of the world had laws in that field, except for a few African countries.


US Industrial Representative’s Interpretation on the Impossibility of Charges in China’s Music Industry

Record IV of Day Four of our U.S. Visit

(By You Yunting) In late March, the author had the opportunity to take a journey to the United States at the invitation of the U.S. government in order to better understand how the U.S. IPR system operates. On the fourth day of the journey, the author and his associate visited the International Intellectual Property Association (the “IIPA”). The following is the brief record of our visit there.

The IIPA is a copyright protection organization consisting of the Association of American Publishers (the “APP”), Business Software Alliance (the “BSA”), Entertainment Software Association (the “ESA”), Independent Film & Television Alliance (the “IFTA”), International Visual Art Association (the “INTVAA”), Motion Picture Association of America (the “MPAA”), National Music Publishers’ Association (the “NMPA”), and the Recording Industry Association of America (the “RIAA”).


Why did the US Rule that iPhone Jailbreaking is Legal, but iPad Jailbreaking is Illegal?

Record III of Day Four of Our Visit to the United States

(By You Yunting) At the end of this past March, on the invitation of the US government, the author visited America with other Chinese legal experts with the goal of better understanding its IPR system. On the fourth day of the journey, the author visited the Copyright Office of the US Library of Congress (the “US Copyright Office”). The following is the brief record of the visit on that day.


Has Apple Protected Its APP through the BSA?

The Second Record of the Day Four of the US Visit

(By You Yunting) In late March, the author had the opportunity to make a journey to the United States at the invitation of the U.S. government in order to better understand how the U.S. IPR system operates. On the morning of the fourth day of the journey, the writer visited the Business Software Association (BSA), which originally was not on the list of places to visit; it was later added on the recommendation of the writer. Despite this, the BSA received us with a chief inspection officer. The following is a record of our discussion carried out on that day. The topic of this post only concerns part of the discussion, and the reader may skip to the last part of this article if it interests you.


Does Running Game Cheating Programs Violate the Criminal Law in the United States?

—Day four of the visit to the United States

(By You Yunting) Beginning at the end of this March, on the invitation of the US government, the writer visited America with other Chinese legal experts with the goal of understanding its IPR system. On the fourth day, the writer visited the US Justice Department’s Bureau of Computer Crimes and IPR, the Department of Homeland Security’s IPR Coordination Center, and the American Chamber of Commerce. The following is the brief record of the writer’s experiences that day:


What Chinese Intellectual Property Legal Issues Are American Companies Dissatisfied With?

Day three of the visit to the United States

(By You Yunting) Beginning at the end of this March, on the invitation of the US government, I visited America with the goal of understanding its IPR system. On my third day in the US, I visited the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (“PhRMA”), the United States-China Business Council (“USCBC”), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), and the East Asia Bureau of the US Department of State. The following is the brief record of my meetings on that day.


Why China Should Revoke the Regulations Which May Put All the Piracy Selling Vendors into Jail?

(By You Yunting) You could find the vendors selling the pirated films, TV dramas, music or software in almost each single street in the cities of China. And according to the current regulation that the amount of the sales totaled 500 discs could be prosecuted for the criminal law violation, any vendors who has been selling the pirated discs for at least one month could constitute the crime of copyright infringement, and to be sent in to jail. Despite what the vendor has done may damage the IPR of the copyright holder, it is fair to combat them under the laws and regulations. But it seems that the existing judicial interpretation has a too wide governing scope, and could have damaged the purpose of the Criminal law. And in the practices, the vendors who have been prosecuted for their piracy selling could be less than 1% of all. Thus it has made the vendors do not care the punishment regulated in the criminal law, and that on the other hand has broken the principle “any violation against the criminal law shall be prosecuted and punished”, and thereafter it may promote the law enforcement upon the selection or the law enforcement in the political campaign or the rule of man. And the at the same time, it could harm the IPR protection.


How does the U.S. Government Guide Companies Registering IPR in China?

(By You Yunting) This March, at the invitation of the U.S. government, Mr. You Yunting, the founder of Bridge IP Commentary began his journey to the United States. The main purpose of this visit was to better understand the system of intellectual property rights in the United States. Mr. You would like to share with our readers his experiences there in several posts here on our website. Of course, the content of the posts may not be truly comprehensive or strictly accurate; that being said, if you find any mistakes or comments that can be corrected or improved upon, please let us know. We encourage more dialogue with the IPR community and welcome all constructive commentary. The following is the first post in a series of Mr. You’s visit to the United States: 


Is It Necessary to Receive Approval from the Rights Holder of an Original Work in Order to Use Adapted Work?


(By Luo Yanjie) Recent internet news has stated that the film adaption rights for Big Breast & Wide Hips, the work of 2012 Nobel laureate, Mo Yan, have sold for RMB 11,180,000 yuan, and the film will be directed by Zhang Yimou. Although Mo Yan’s agency ultimately confirmed that this was a false rumor, the cinematographic adaption of Mo Yan’s work has garnered public attention. With the trend of greater diversity in forms of work, we have seen more and more works recomposed in other artistic forms. Legally speaking, this re-composition actually belongs to adaption under the Copyright Law, and the work created is therefore adapted work. Today’s post will introduce the Chinese system for adaption of the film and cinematographic works.


Comparison of Administrative and Judicial Methods of Domain Name Dispute Settlement in China

(By Albert Chen) Currently, the main dispute resolution channels for domain name disputes include semi-administrative settlement and judicial settlement. In terms of regulation, the Measures for Settlement of Domain Name Disputes (the “Measures”) were promulgated as early as 2002 and then amended in 2006. The Measures are the primary basis for semi-administrative settlement of domain name dispute. As to judicial methods, the main basis is the Interpretation on Several Issues Concerning Application of Law in the Hearing of Computer Network Civil Disputes” (the “Interpretation”) promulgated by the Supreme People’s Court.


Are New Rules on Internet Publication from GAPP against State Council’s Regulations?


(By You Yunting) Abstract: By the “Management Measures of Internet Information Services” (the “Measures”) issued by the State Council, China will carry out a new system of filing and recording to those non-operating Internet information services, namely those services involving the open sharing of information. These websites falling within the measures shall undertake the recording and filing procedures laid out before publishing any and all information. Yet, the situation seems to have undergone some changes with the promulgation of the working draft of the “Management Regulations of Network Publishing Services” (the “Regulations”), wherein most information released onto the network would be deemed so-called “network publishing.” As provided in the Regulations, no matter whether the service is operating or non-operating, the requirements for a Network Publishing Service License (the “License”) shall apply. It can be easily seen that such regulations are being made that are essentially beyond any lawful authorization, and are in fact contrary to rules previously issued by the State Council.