Copyright vital for growth of Dehua's ceramic industry
By Tang Yue In Dehua, Fujian (China Daily)
Updated: 2015-06-17

The improvement of copyright protection has played a vital role in the fast development of the ceramic industry in Dehua county, Fujian province, according to a report by the World Intellectual Property Organization and National Copyright Administration.

WIPO chose the county as an example to study the impact of copyright on a regional primary industry, together with the NAC, in 2010 and released a report early this month.

As the number of ceramic design copyright registrations rose from 220 in 2001 to 9,123 in 2013, the output value of the ceramic industry increased from 2.12 billion yuan ($341.5 million) to 15.01 billion yuan, the report said. The average price per piece also increased from 1.6 yuan to 7.05 yuan.

"In the 1990s, we had to travel to Xiamen to register copyrights, which was very inconvenient, and people didn't have the awareness of copyright in the first place back then," said Chen Renhai, a master of ceramic art, who has more than 700 pieces of copyrighted works under his name.

"Now, people have realized they must guard their interests and don't dare risk copying other people's works."

While the value of the ceramics industry in Dehua is smaller than in Jingdezhen, the best-known ceramics town in the country, the average value per person in Dehua almost triples that of Jingdezhen, according to the report.

Wang Binying, deputy director-general of WIPO, said the case of Dehua is very inspiring.

"It shows us how the industry has evolved from the old days with the application of copyright. It sets a very good example, especially for other developing countries," Wang said.

Chen Jindian, sectary-general of the Dehua Copyright Association, said the group has been encouraging people to register copyrights in the past few years by rewarding 5,000 yuan to those who register more than 50 pieces a year and 10,000 yuan to those who copyright more than 100 pieces.

"Since most of the companies now have awareness, it's time to focus on quality rather than quantity now," Chen said.

Chen said it is "sometimes challenging" to decide if one piece has infringed on the copyright of another since no single artwork is completely original.

"It would be ideal to have someone like a legal medical expert in the field of copyright and give a conclusive answer based on science. But the experience of the administrators and judges helps, as well as the conciliation system," he said.

 Copyright vital for growth of Dehua's ceramic industry

A visitor looks at Dehua ceramic works at an exhibition held in Fuzhou, Fujian province. Hao Chen / For China Daily

Copyright vital for growth of Dehua's ceramic industry

(China Daily 06/17/2015 page17)

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