Legal Protection of Digital Derivatives of Drama (Part II)

(By Lv Xuanxuan)

I. Civil right protection

As stated above, digital derivatives are virtual property because of its form and value. In Section 5 Civil Rights of Chapter I General Provisions of Civil Code include general provisions about digital and internet based virtual property, stating that digital and internet based virtual property should be protected according to relevant legal provisions, if any. Pursuant to Articles 240 and 241 of Civil Code, real property or property owner is legally entitled to possess, use, receive profits from, assign or create a right to use or security interest in the property, but the person with a right to use or security interest in the property cannot exercise their rights by harming the property owner’s rights. In Article 323 of Civil Code which sets out five rights relating to use of property, the person with a right to use other person’s real property or property can legally possess, use or receive profits from the property. In addition, Civil Code also includes security, pledge, lien and occupation related rules. Because of the legality of rights in property, ownership and the right to assign internet based virtual property is based on creditor’s right to ask for payment of debts owed to them, not directly coming from the property related provisions of Civil Code.

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Is Andy Liu Responsible for Audi’s Plagiarism in its Advert?

(By You YuntingThe other day Audi made an allegedly plagiarized advert at Grain Buds, one of the traditional Chinese solar terms, attracting public interest. I felt bad about this incident because the advert in dispute was shot with my favorite star Andy Liu. Today I would like to discuss whether Andy Liu is also responsible for the infringement if “Mr. Grain Buds from Peking University” takes an action.

First, let’s look at the case facts. May 21st is Grain Buds, one of the traditional Chinese solar terms. On that day Audi published the advert Live a Life Like Grain Buds endorsed by Andy Liu on several platforms, including douyin and weibo, which soon gained much popularity on the internet. “Mr. Grain Buds from Peking University”, a douyin blogger showed proof in a video that Audi made the advert by plagiarizing his writings. Audi apologized in public and removed the advert completely from the internet and Andy Liu also removed the advert video from his douyin account.

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Key Points that Performers Should Know When Protecting Themselves from Internet Portrait Right Infringement

(By Lv Xuanxuan and Sun Yinuo) Back in September 2020, Beijing Internet Court published “Rules on Hearing and Deciding Internet Portrait Right Cases” (“Rules”) stating that unauthorized use of a person’s portrait in an advertorial should be deemed as infringement; unauthorized use of a recognizable portrait should be deemed as infringement; the popularity of the person in the portrait is important to calculate the amount of damages; false endorsement will result in more liabilities; and legal and reasonable use of portraits should not be deemed as infringement. According to statistics, the number of portrait right infringement cases, mostly connected with portraits of well-known public figures, especially celebrities in areas of entertainment, ranked immediately below the number of internet copyright infringement cases. Infringement of portrait right of “performers” in areas of entertainment is common. This article gives performers some advice on how to protect their rights in internet portrait right infringement cases to help them claim rights in an appropriate way and seek reasonable and effective remedies.

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China Laws and Regulations Update in November 2020

1.CopyrightLaw of China (Revised)

Promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress

Promulgation date: 1 November 2020

Implementation date: 1 June 2021

Document number: No.62 Chinese President Order

Major clauses revised this time are as follows.

I.Changes of relevant wordings and new rules and measures to meet practical needs

Changing movies and works created in a similar way of making a film to “audiovisual works”; creating rules on recordation of works, making the public accessible to information about owners of rights in works; changing wordings relating to the broadcast right to adapt to new technologies for simultaneous online broadcast and use of works; clearly stating that as owners of neighboring rights radio and IV stations have the right to broadcast through information network in “signals containing programs” they broadcast; adding provisions on technical measures and right control information to solve problems in protecting them online and offline as a whole.

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Why It Is Difficult to Protect Copyrights in Live-Show Platforms in China?

(By You Yunting) Some users of ZHIHU.com (One of the most well-organized community for sharing knowledges online) asked: Would the network host infringe any right while singing at his or her own live-show room? If one host receives the user contributions from the audiences for his or her singing at such live-broadcast room, would such behavior infringe any right? Here come my answers:

The biggest problem of the hosts’ singing at their own live-show rooms is not about whether such behaviors infringe any right or not. Instead, the right holders of such songs have tremendous difficulties in protecting their rights.

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DeBund Succeeds in Pushing Copycat Game App from AppStore

Recently, DeBund takes a big step forward in providing mobile internet legal services that You Yunting Team, on behalf of clients, succeeds in pulling a popular game from the AppStore by more than 10 lawyer’s letters.

The Developer of the complained game copied large amounts of background elements of a well-known game, including graphic design, plots, role names and geographic names, and also used the brand of the original game. The Developer also made a cartoon modeling on the game characters, and did a slight change to the game name, not exactly the same as the original game. The infringed benefits greatly from the complained game to millions of yuan every month.

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Does Unauthorized Use of Screenshots in Game Guide Constitute Infringement?

(By You Yunting) A game guide, also known as game strategy guide, is an essential reference for players. Generally, a game guide may quote pictures and screens from the game itself. But if without authorization, it triggers questions whether this quotation causes copyright infringement. In the following, a similar case will be introduced.

Introduction to the Case:

Plaintiff: Shanghai Aurogon Information and Technology Co., Ltd (the “Aurogon”)

1st Defendant: China Zhongdian Media Co., Ltd (the “ZD Media”)

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Qvod Vs China Government: RMB 260 million Punitive Fine for Copyright Infringement?

qvod

(By You Yunting) Introduction to the Case:

Plaintiff: Shenzhen Qvod Technology Co., Ltd (the “Qvod”)

Defendant: Market Supervision Administration of Shenzhen Municipality (the “MSA”)

Court of first instance: Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court

The MSA filed a case with the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court, and claimed to cancel the punitive fine of RMB 260 million from the MSA. On 30th of December 2014, the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court held the trial as the case is still on that trial.

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Does Story Plot Plagiarism Constitute Copyright Infringement in China?

(By You Yunting) Introduction to the Case:

In the first half of 2014, Palace 3: the Lost Daughter is a 2014 Chinese historical television series written and produced by Yu Zheng. In April 2014, a Taiwanese writer Chiung Yao made a letter claimed that Palace 3: the Lost Daughter (the “disputed show) was based on her novel Plum Blossom Scar (the “reference novel”), but Yu Zheng delayed. On May 28, 2014, Chiung Yao filed a lawsuit, claiming that Yu Zheng was unauthorized to copy her original core plot, recompose the disputed drama and produce and broadcast the disputed show with another 4 defendants. Chiung Yao thought that Yu Zheng had seriously violated her right of adaptation and cinematization, causing great mental damage, and requested Yu Zheng to immediate stop infringement, eliminate influences, make an apology and compensation of RMB 20 million for economic loss.

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Youku Steals the Originality, How Can the Student Fight Against Plagiarism?

追气球的熊孩子

(By You Yunting) A post named the Teenagers Cannot Be Bullied was made by a 19-year-old student to complain that Youku.com ripped off his idea, causing a big stir online. The 19-year-old student and his fellows succeeded in taking photos of the earth from flying a hot-air balloon and then published their experience named the Kids Who Chase the Balloon and photos online. Afterwards, staffs from Youku.com contacted him, saying that they would like to address a short video to write down their behaviors. Then they reached an agreement through emails that the 19-year-old student and his fellows would cooperate with Youku.com in making a creative short video from the post the Kids Who Chase the Balloon.

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Does Tudou.com Require Permission for the Use of YYeTs’ Unauthorized Subtitle Translation in China?

tudou

(By You Yunting) YYeTs is one of fansub groups in China, which translated foreign films and television program and subtitled into a language other than that of the original by fans (not officially licensed translator). YYeTs have translated many foreign films and television programs and developed very fast in China.

Recently,  YYeTs claimed that, as Tudou.com used, without permission, YYeTs’ subtitle translation for the video of the Voice and deleted the names of translator, YYeTs tried to negotiate with Tudou.com but was blamed for illegal translation. That raised a question: without the permission of the right holder for the Voice, could YYeTs’ translation receive protection from the Copyright Law?

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Introduction to Ownership of the Performer’s Right in China

(By Luo Yanjie) As China recently ratified the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, in today’s post, we will introduce the system and cases of the performers’ rights in the Copyright Law. As for who holds the performer’s right, different judgments will be found through three cases. Who holds the performer’s right? The performer, the company/organizationthat hires the performer, or the performing company/organization? These different judgments can become an obstacle for the further development of China’s performing arts.

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China Laws and Regulations Update in July 2014

  1. The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council Releases the newly revised Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China (under Review) and Solicits Public Opinions for It

On 6 June 2014, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council released the newly revised Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China (under Review) and solicited public opinions for it. The deadline for opinion solicitation will be 5 July 2014.

What is most significantly revised according to the draft copyright law under review includes provisions on objects, contents, ownership and the validity period of rights within the scope of copyright. Also, it has stipulated more penalties that will be imposed on those who infringe others’ copyrights and has set forth means of enforcement by administrative authorities concerned, who have powers of seizure and confiscation, which was first stipulated by laws.

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Is It Illegal for the SARFT to Prohibit Installing Youku and Iqiyi in Internet Cable Box?

广电总局

Is It Illegal for the SARFT to Prohibit Installing Youku and Iqiyi in Internet Cable Box?

–Analysis on the Prohibition of Installing Youku App and Iqiyi App on the Internet Cable Box

(By You Yunting) According to some media reports, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (the ”SARFT”) issued a rule to local administrations requesting to delete Youku App, Iqiyi App, Sohu App and browsers from Wasu Box and Internet cable Set-top boxes (the “boxes”), which enables users to support TV, games, online video, music and photos. At first glance, i was astonished how it could be called boxes if without Youku App, Iqiyi App and browsers. However, Hangzhou Wasu Digital TV Media Group confirmed receiving the rule shortly after the reports came out. That being the condition, we would like to analyze the rule.

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Traditional Media shall Enhance Themselves against Internet Infringement

toutiao

(By You Yunting) According to news media’s reports, the National Copyright Administration of China (the “NACA”), State Internet Information Office (the “SIIO”), Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (the “MIIT”) and the Ministry of Public Security (the “MPC”) recently initiated the 10th special campaign dubbed “Sword Net Action” against online piracy and infringement, centered on cracking down on some websites’ unauthorized reprint from traditional media. This “Sword Net Action” could be better for traditional media, but governmental action gradually has different stages. Traditional media must improve practicing skills in the legal campaign against new Internet media.

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