Is It Illegal for Amazon.cn Running Kindle Store with A License Borrowed from Business Cooperation?

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(By You Yunting) On the morning of 13th December, to most one’s inexpectation, Amazon.cn launched itsChinese Kindle Store. As indicated in the web page, it is run by Chineseall.com, a licensed online publisher. That hints Kindle reader would come to China soon. And on the eager of Chinese users,a media report on 14th December (Note: the link is in Chinese) claimed Kindle Store has been halted by the General Administration of Press and Publication (the “GAPP”) for its violation against the law.
“Mr. Wang Qiang, the chief of digital publication section of the Science & Digital Publication Department of GAPP said in his interview that Amazon’s Kindle Store is violating the law for its license borrowed from business cooperation”. Also, it is mentioned in the report that GAPP has inquired and investigated Amazon.cn and Chineseall.com, but yet no result is available now. It is obvious that to Amazon’s plan, it would like to settle the license obstacle by using others’ license. In today’s post, we would like to discuss legal issues concerning licenses on electronic book business.
I. What license is necessary for e-book business?
The qualification of e-book business is mainly regulated in department rules of GAPP. Possibly due to a faster development in science and outdated regulations, the rules are actually could not been seen as an official legislature. It is called Opinions on Developing E-book Industry by GAPP. (Note: the link is in Chinese) By its Article 14, the e-book business of Amazon involves the edition, publish and sales of the e-publication, and thereby shall correspondently apply for three licenses.
Before the e-book, the online game industry is also facing the license problem to publishing the user terminal. At then, two ways are mainly adopted by game companies for the acquisition of business license: 1) the game companies with online publish license could directly submit the game to the GAPP for approval in his own name; 2) those companies with no such qualification, they would present the games to the electronic audio and video publishing house and afterwards to gain the e-publication license. But unlike the publish of online game, for which hundreds of games could be run by a single company and they are possible to gain the license through the publishing house, the release of the e-book may involves millions of works, once they are published through publishing house, all their gains may be inadequate for the payment to the publishing house.
II. Why Amazon did not apply for the license directly?
Could Amazon directly apply for the license for online publication? The answer is no. The shareholder of Amazon.cn is Amazon USA, which makes it a foreign invested company. And by the Guideline of Foreign Invested Industry issued by the Ministry of Commerce, the field of video & audio production as well as the electronic publication and making is prohibited for foreign investment. For this reason, Amazon.cn could no apply for the license solely by itself or in its name.
III. What problems for the cooperation between Amazon and Chineseall.com?
According to the page of Amazon’s e-book:
“The e-book store of Kindle is supported by Chineseall.com, Xinchuwangzheng (jing) No.045”. The Chineseall.com is a licensed corporate, and obviously by Amazon’s plan,it would like to settle the problem of license through the cooperation with a licensed company. But to my personal opinion, the current operation model is defected. To my experience, the domain name, server room, software for reading and payment for book purchase of Kindle e-book store are all supported by Amazon.cn, and it has no connection with Chineseall.com, so where could see the support from Chineseall.com? Therefore, it is not groundless in law that the official from the GAPP said Amazon’s operation under others’ license is violating the law.
Before closing, just half month ago, Xiaomi Inc., a private high tech company, released its set top box–Xiaomi Box, which was also halted by the administration. For that, the author has also written two articles to criticize the authority. For this time, the international giant Amazon couters with the same problem in the publish field. However, either Xiaomi or Kindle Store leads the development direction of science and advanced culture. Their experience in the government’s administration could also explain their “advance”, and the outdate of Chinese authority. And by te existing system in China, no judicial relief is available to Chinese companies when in such situation, and they could not file an administrative lawsuit. The main risk for it is the administration supervision could kill the update and upgrade of high-tech products, which would eventually make our science development legging behind the global trend.

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Why China Is Not Among Top 20 Countries of Pirated Music Download?

By You Yunting

Musicmetric, a website in USA, published the top 20 countries of pirated music download, yet to most ones’ astonishment, China is not found on the tally, who is commonly accused of granting least protection on IPR. Then what contributes to the surprising result? In today’s post, you could find our answer to it.

I. Most online music services are using the copyrighted ones

Unlike chargeable music download in iTunes or through P2P in USA, most users in China tend to get their free music by search engine, or download or listen to them by music software. The most popular music service now in China is from Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) and Tencent (SEHK: 700), whose music library is mostly licensed by the main recorders around the world.

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How China Laws Provide on Song Covering in Talent Shows

By You Yunting

A question raised up for me on Weibo stating: should all the singing performances by the participants in talent shows be licensed by the copyright holder? And who shall take the infringement liability once it is accused by the right holder? Behind the question, the most heated news related to the topic is that Universal sent a lawyer’s letter to Li Daimo, the participant of The Voice of China, accusing his unlicensed performance of “You Exist in My Song”, the works of Universal’s singer. Also in the letter, the company demands the ceasing of the performance of the song, by both the participant and The Voice. The seemingly short question actually has many legal issues in it, and the following is my answer to them.

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No Infringement of SONY TV’s Unauthorized Cartoon Playing

By Luo Yanjie

In our past post “How Sony Can Avoid Copyright Risk”, we gave our legal opinion in the copyright infringement charged against SONY. And in that case, SONY integrated the function of networking in a type of its TV products, by which the consumer could watch the cartoon produced by an animation company after registering its TV and the application for an account on an appointed websites under the instruction of SONY. The animation company sued SONY and the website in Beijing after detaining the infringement.

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Music Industry’s Revision Suggestion to Drafted Copyright Law, II

The exposure draft of revised Copyright Law (the “Draft”) has gained wide attention among the public after its publication on the website of the National Copyright Association of China (NCAC). One of the reasons contributing to the heated discussion is the articles possibly damaging the interests of musicians who have expressed their strong opposition to the Draft.

In recent, the Record Committee of China Audio & Video Association (CAVA) affiliated to General Administration of Press and Publication of PRC has made their suggestions to the modification on the Draft. To the introduction on the website of CAVA, it has more than 520 member units that are engaged in audio-video production, duplication, distribution and marketing. The member units have not only the largest state record corporation, audio-video press, but also the best music-make corporation, distribution and marketing corporation and the large chain marketing corporation at home. Under CAVA there are several working committees such as distribution, record, disc, educative publishing, digital audio-video and china marketing committee. And the Record Committee making the suggestion this time is the working committee of the CAVA.

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Music Industry’s Revision Suggestion to Drafted Copyright Law, I

The exposure draft of revised Copyright Law (the “Draft”) has gained wide attention among the public after its publication on the website of the National Copyright Association of China (NCAC). One of the reasons contributing to the heated discussion is the articles possibly damaging the interests of musicians who have expressed their strong opposition to the Draft.

In recent, the Record Committee of China Audio & Video Association (CAVA) affiliated to General Administration of Press and Publication of PRC has made their suggestions to the modification on the Draft. To the introduction on the website of CAVA, it has more than 520 member units that are engaged in audio-video production, duplication, distribution and marketing. The member units have not only the largest state record corporation, audio-video press, but also the best music-make corporation, distribution and marketing corporation and the large chain marketing corporation at home. Under CAVA there are several working committees such as distribution, record, disc, educative publishing, digital audio-video and china marketing committee. And the Record Committee making the suggestion this time is the working committee of the CAVA.

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The Introduction on the Chinese Laws and Regulations concerning the Withholding Tax

Highlight: to introduce you the regulations concerning the withholding tax in China, including the scope and the calculation base of the tax.

Recently a reader consult our website for the relevant legal problems regarding the withholding tax in China. The withholding tax is a usually encountered question in foreign exchange payment for those foreign companies having cooperation with Chinese enterprises in intellectual property right. Ms. Chen Danhong, the attorney of our website replied the question as follows:

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Analysis on the Different Infringement Liabilities of Taobao Market and Tmall


Recently, the attorneys of Bridge IPR Commentary were interviewed by “China Intellectual Property “, an IPR magazine in China, and the details are as follows:

1. Taobao Market and Tmall are both the separate channels of Taobao, and Tmall was established after Market and now have its own domain name. Then is there any difference between Taobao Market and Tmall?

Unlike the stores in the Market applied by individual merchants with a relatively low threshold, the qualification for Tmall is much stricter for only licensed corporations could run the business in it, furthermore, the service of changing or refunding, after service and invoice are also demanded. Currently, the famous brands operating in Tmall include Lenovo, Haier, Nike and other well-known brands, which are similar to brand stores guaranteeing in service quality.

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The Legal Protection over Open Source Software in China

Highlight: Although the OSS is the legal works protected by Copyright Law in China, there has promulgated few legal regulations on it. In this essay, you could know the method to protect the OSS by the current laws and regulations.

It has shown up an increasing trend to open the source code in the intellectual property practices of the world software industry, which is remarked in China by Microsoft’s decision to open part of its operating system code to China government. The protection over open source software is still a legal practices field with little specified regulations in China. However, on the other hand, most important software of China’s own intellectual property is developed on the opened source code and subject to the restriction of the OSS License. Bridge IP Commentary will introduce you the protection over the OSS under current legal environment in China and its legal status.

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No “iPad” Chinese trademark right for Apple after payment in the transaction, and our analysis.

—-the Key points to the trademark transaction under the frame of China laws

Highlight:Apple gets involved in the litigation against a Chinese company for the ownership of iPad trademark, which Apple has claimed the property from purchase. However, such conflict could be averted if proper preparation has been done before the trademark transaction.

Recently, the trademark conflict over “iPad” initiated by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL, the “Apple”) against Proview Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. (the “Proview”) was heard for the third time on Shenzhen Intermediate Court. In the trial, Apple affirmed it owns the global trademark right of “iPad”, which was stroke back by Proview that such right in mainland China is exclusively held by Proview and the claimed transaction of Apple for the acquisition of such right has no permission or authorization from it, furthermore, Apple was also accused of its malicious purchase of the registered “iPad” behind the IP Application Development Company worldwide.

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How Sony Can Avoid Copyright Risk?

Highlights: The article analyzes the case that SONY sued for the infringing content of internet Video-On-Demand service integrated in TV set and the provisions of port principles in China Copyright Law.

It is reported that SONY (TYO: 6758, NYSE: SNE), along with a VOD website, was sued by a Chinese cartoon company (the “copyright owner”), and Beijing Dongcheng District People’s Court has accepted the suit.

As news­ reports, the copyright owner claimed that SONY integrated the internet unicast service software in certain type of its TV set. Furthermore, with SONY’s TV set instruction, the consumer could watch the content of infringing program after registering the serial number of TV online and an account with a website in sequence.

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