Investors who struggle to asses the value of cultural relics or contemporary art works may soon be able to use an online tool to help.
Fu Xiaoliang, board chairman of Shenzhen International Copyright Exchange, is creating a database to provide easy access to detailed copyright transaction information and records.
"We will collect the transaction records of more than 100 famous cultural works at the beginning stage, and expand to cover more step by step," Fu told China Daily.
The records will work as identification for every single copyright work, which could provide useful reference for investors before purchasing, he said.
The system will also improve transparency for copyright trading and allow transaction records to be tracked for copyright as well as other cultural and creative products.
"We hope our efforts could be helpful to promote and regulate China's copyright trading market to be standardized, fair and open," he said.
The copyright exchange opened on March 30 after a six-month trial.
It focuses on five major fields - copyright trading, or video and audio products; publication, including digital publication; software, including games and comic and animation; intangible cultural relic; and works of art.
"We aim at providing international copyright protection and services including worldwide copyright protection, copyright trading and copyright financing" Fu said.
So far, the exchange provides national copyright registration, ownership identification, mortgages and other financing services.
Fu, who has a strong financial background after working for securities houses for years, said he is looking at the feasibility of financial tools to help cultural companies, investors and authors.
He said he believes copyright protection could be much easier when it is shared.
"The industrial regulators should allow the copyright owners to sell and trade their copyright by shares on the market," Fu said.
The more people who own shares of a copyright and care for its price fluctuation, the safer the copyright will be, because "there are so many eyes watching", he said.
However, the system also needs regulators to protect the shares transactions and effectively regulate the market, otherwise speculation could occur, he said.
Fu's exchange won a credit line of 1 billion yuan ($160.6 million) from the Bank of China.
"We have been in talks with several cultural companies who need funds to support their development. We hope we can help them get the loans from the bank," he said.
The copyright works and cultural products could eventually have more investment channels, such as securities, trust fund and assets management, when the financial environment in China improves, said Fu.
His exchange, while doing conventional business to support normal operations, is preparing for new financial products.
"Our database for copyright transaction records will play an important role when the copyright market is open to more investment tools because it provides a benchmark for the industry," Fu said.
The exchange also trains professional brokers, who help build connections between copyright experts, authors and investors and also provide professional advice.
"We also require our brokers learn sufficient financial knowledge and develop their capabilities in strategy planning and market promotion," Fu said.
The exchange partnered with the World Copyright Union, an organization registered in the United States, to introduce more overseas copyrights and help Chinese copyright owners meet foreign investors.
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(China Daily 04/16/2014 page17)