Copyright Protection: Entering the safe harbor?

Entering the safe harbor?


Li Dongtao

The Facts

This is a 2009 case.

The plaintiff is a software company and entitled to the copyright of the online game ARCHOR.

The defendant is a .com company offering search engine service.

On June 28th 2008, the plaintiff specified the key word “ARCHOR” by using the search engine at the defendant’s website and found lots of websites offering the decrypted ARCHOR game. 

Copyright Protection: So many, why?

So many, why?



Judge Li

Why so many works and so many rights?

The history of American copyright law may be an answer.

In May 1790, the first Congress adopted first American copyright statute. It protected only maps, charts and books.

In 1865, photographs and photographic negatives were included.

In 1912, another technologically new expressive form, motion pictures, was brought within the ambit of law.

In 1971, sound recordings were added to the protected list.

Copyright Protection: So many works

So many works


Judge Li

Copyright regulates the legal relationship between the author and his work.

Works protected by copyright include literary, scientific, artistic, musical, photographic and cinematographic works as well as computer programs.

In China, according to the Article 3 of China’s Copyright Law (2001), the term "works" includes works of literature, art, natural science, social science, engineering technology and the like which are expressed in the following forms:

    (1) written works;

Copyright Protection: Two sides of a coin

Two sides of a coin



Judge Li

Copyright is not a single right, but a set of exclusive rights.

Like two sides of a coin, the copyright can be divided into two parts that are inextricably interlinked: moral rights and exploitation right.

  1. Moral rights.

The work is the author’s brainchild.

Copyright Protection: a special case

A special case: the law is lagging behind the progress of technology?



Judge Li

This is a 1999 case.

The plaintiffs are six well-known Chinese writers. 

The defendant is a .com company operating a commercial website. 

In April 1998, the defendant uploaded some novels of six plaintiffs onto its website without their permissions and put a copyright notice saying “Copyright Reserved” at the bottom of every webpage. 

Translated Decisions: 

Intellectual Property Court in China

[Arthur Tan-Chi Yuan]

President XI Jinping presided over a high level committee meeting on June 6 to decide action items including, among other things, "Framework Opinions of Certain Questions Regarding Pilot Reform of the Judicial System ," "Working Plan For Pilot Judiciary Reform of Shanghai," and "Regarding Working Plan For Establishing an Intellectual Property Court."1  The committee passed motions to approve the three items above and has set subsequent time tables for further implementation details.2 

SIPO Order No. 68 Amending Guidelines for Patent Examination

[Arthur Tan-Chi Yuan]

The State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) released its Order No. 68 to amend the Guidelines for Patent Examination (equivalent to the MPEP for USPTO) on March 17, 2014 (original text in Chinese here).  The amendments will come into effect on May 1, 2014, same day as the Third Amendments to the Trademark Law.

The amendments are made to the following sections/subsections of the Guidelines for Patent Examination:

The Latest on Chinese IP Litigation Program


The Registration Deadline is March 14. 


Please kindly note the time change: 12 - 1:30 pm.


Please register here.