Can Software User Interface be Protected by China Copyright Law?


(By Albert Chen) User Interfaces (UI) are generally excluded from copyright protection, because a UI simply allows the software to be used by displaying various methods of operation; that being said, because UIs are all essentially limited by incorporating similar functions, similar kinds of software inevitably reach creative limits in expression of UI layouts and specification of features and functions. Looking at UIs in another way, the basic UI layout and framework essentially enter the public domain, and ergo are not afforded protection under the Copyright Law.


Beijing Love Story Is Confirmed as a Cooperative Work


(By Albert Chen) Recently, the Beijing Xicheng People’s Court made its decision on the dispute over copyright ownership of Beijing Love Story (“Story”) between Li Yaling and Chen Sichen, confirming that the Story was a cooperative work and that Li held copyright rights over it. After the Court’s decision, Li stated she would take the lawsuit a step further to invalidate the copyright transfer contract made unilaterally by Chen.

Although the author has certainly not seen the contents of the verdict, and the outlook on Li’s appeal to have the contract invalidated is pessimistic, to some extent, Li has already fulfilled her rights protection goals. At the same time, this case also serves as a reminder for other creators of TV series to pay more attention to copyright ownership and protection.


Copyright Issues behind Disputes on Beijing Love Story

By Albert Chen

The popular TV drama Beijing Love Story (the “Story”) has become the hot topic of  social discussion. The discussion was triggered about with whom the copyright  ownership of the story resides, on which both editors Chen Sicheng and Li Yaling claimed the right over it.  Chen planned to shoot a film of the Story which Li was against, with the reason that any licenses of the works shall have to go through her approval and that she will have to be paid  remuneration. With the  escalation of the dispute, both parties seek the settlement through legal ways.