The 2018 copyright registration statistics of China

In January, the National Intellectual Property Administration of China (CNIPA, formerly known as SIPO) released the major IP statistics for the Chinese mainland in 2018 (see the IPKat coverage here). They relate to patent, trade mark, geographical indications, integrated circuit layout design, but no copyright

‘So copyright is not considered as part of the ‘major IP’ in China?’. In relation to this question raised by a Katfriend, this Kat would like to take the chance to share a view: simply, the only reason of the aforementioned absence is that, when it comes to copyright statistics, CNIPA is not the competent authority: the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) is. 

In March 2019, the NCAC published the 2018 statistics for copyright registration. In total, 3,457,338 copyrights were registered, with a year-on-year growth of 25.83% -- a record new high. 

1. The works 

In 2018, in total of 2,351,952 works were registered, with a growth rate of 17.48% (in 2017, the number was 349,986). 

Beijing, as the top 1 region in terms of registration, showed the increment of 100,000 works (see below the overview of the ‘top regions in registration’). Four types of works amounted to 95% of the total registered works (the ‘TRW’), namely works of fine arts (992,513 pieces, 42.20% of TRW), photographic works (917,045, 38.99% of TRW), literary works (278,170, 11.83% of TRW), and cinematographic and television works (53,224, 2.26% of TRW). 

*CPCC, Copyright Protection Center of China, is the one and only institution designated by the NCAC as for computer software copyright registration.

2. Significant increments in APP software and AI software registrations 

The statistics from the CPCC showed that, in 2018, the total amount of computer software copyright registrations reached 1,104,839, with a year-on-year growth of 48.22%. 

Geographically, 72.78% of the copyright registrations for computer softwares (approx. 800,000) took place in Eastern China. In particular, with around 280,000 registrations, Guangdong ranked the top, followed by Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong, Sichuan, Fujian, Hubei, and Henan. 

Notably, APP softwares showed the significant growth of 76.29%. Both AI softwares and big data softwares had the above-average year-on-year growth rates, namely 104.02% and 64.27%, respectively. 

3. Pledge registration of copyrights 

CPCC’s statistics showed that, in 2018, in total of 547 pledge registration of copyrights were completed, including 350 computer software copyright pledge registrations. The absolute quantity seems small, yet it was a year-on-year growth of 82.94%. 

4. Comment 

As our readers certainly know, generally speaking, a work is automatically protected by copyright when it is created, i.e. the principle of formality-free protection. However, in practice, sometimes it is beneficial to proactively get your creative works registered, especially in the evolving digital environment. Basically, as a notice to the world, a copyright registration could be utilized in many ways and bring great convenience to the registrant. For instance, it can work as the preliminary record of creation, the precondition to file suit for copyright infringements (e.g. under US Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 411(a)), and of course as a way to show off demonstrate the IP intensity and strength. 

Release of these numbers is certainly laudable to promote information symmetry, enhance copyright awareness, and facilitate the exercise of rights. What do you think? 

The 1st Photo: Shelly Tian's kitten. 
The 2018 copyright registration statistics of China The 2018 copyright registration statistics of China Reviewed by Tian Lu on Sunday, March 17, 2019 Rating: 5

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