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A Maitreya - or fat smiling Buddha - in Jinan, capital of Shandong province. The court ruled that traditional Buddhist images can be copyrighted if they have "innovative elements". Wang Hui / China Daily
Traditional religious images can be copyrighted if they contain "innovative elements" created by artists, according to a recent Beijing court ruling that found sculptor Huang Quanfu owns the rights to a wood sculpture design for Maitreya - the so-called fat smiling Buddha.