Broadcasters are required to pay royalties to copyright holders if they play music on the air, according to a new regulation approved by the State Council.
The regulation, which becomes effective on Jan 1, stipulates that radio and television stations can pay music copyright owners fees calculated by using one of three criteria, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
The broadcasters can pay the copyright owners a fixed lump sum fee mutually decided by broadcasters and copyright management organizations annually.
If they cannot agree on fees, they can pay the owners a portion of advertising revenues. For example, the copyright owners can get 0.01 percent of a station's advertising income if music occupies less than 1 percent of program time.
Broadcasters can also choose to pay copyright owners a fee based on the duration of music played during the program. Radio stations will pay 0.3 yuan (4 cents) if they play music for a minute, and TV stations have to pay 1.5 yuan (22 cents).
Liu Ping, head of the legal department for the Music Copyright Society of China, lauded the regulation.
"Broadcasting organizations paying the music composer fees will promote the development of the music industry," Liu said.
Taihe Rye Music Chief Executive Officer Song Ke also supported the regulation.
"We can fight for the fees for the music composers. This is an improvement," Song said.
Expo IP rights
Organizers of the 2010 Shanghai Expo emphasized the importance of protecting the intellectual property rights (IPR) of Expo emblems during a recent news conference in Shanghai.
IPR protections for the Expo emblems went into effect in October 2004, and all levels of the Administration for Industry and Commerce have spared no efforts to protect Expo emblems, said Zhao Gang, deputy director of China's trademark office.
The Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination has registered as many as 61 Expo emblems, and Zhao said the market will be regulated for the next 18 months to protect those emblems.
Chen Xianjin, deputy director general of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, said Expo sponsors have been using Expo emblems with the permission of the bureau.
TV set patents
The public patent information service platform for Chinese television set companies began operations at the 11th China International Hi-Tech Fair after two years' construction at a cost of 5 million yuan.
"It signals a big step forward for Chinese TV set exporters with respect to intellectual property rights," said Hao Yabin, deputy secretary-general of the China Video Industry Association.
It is the first patent service platform in China.
After its establishment, one of the main tasks for Zhongcailian Co is to set up an information platform on patents to describe what patents can be used by Chinese television set companies.
At present, the first and second stages for the construction work have been completed. There are 2,158 patents in relation to North America, 592 patents in relation to Europe, and 4,299 patents in relation to China in the data base, totaling 7,049.
The top three companies for information technology patents this year were Huawai, ZTE and BYD, according to the 11th Press Conference for Patent Posture in Information Technology.
The conference was hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and has become one of the more important activities for the information technology industry and branding efforts.
As of Sept 30, the State Intellectual Property Office reported more than 980,000 patent applications for information technology patents, 180,000 (22 percent) more applications than during the period a year ago.
Huawei ranked first with 23,585 patent applications and ZTE followed with, 14,747 patents, with BYD coming in third.
Guangdong province topped other provinces with 116,347 patent applications in the information technology industry. Guangdong was the only province with more than 100,000 patent applications this year -- significantly ahead of Beijing with 68,356 applications.
Editor's note: The IPR Special is sponsored by the State Intellectual Property Office and published by China Business Weekly. To contact the Intellectual Property Office, the IPR Special hotlines are 8610-64995422 or 8610-64995826, and the e-mail address is email@example.com.
(China Daily 11/30/2009 page9)