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Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China

Updated: 2015-07-28

Section 2 Ownership of Copyright

Article 11 Except where otherwise provided in this Law, the copyright in a work shall belong to its author.

The author of a work is the citizen who has created the Work.

Where a work is created according to the intention and under the supervision and responsibility of a legal entity or other organization, such legal entity or organization shall be deemed to be the author of the work.

The citizen, legal entity or other organization whose name is mentioned in connection with a work shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be deemed to be the author of the work.

Article 12 Where a work is created by adaptation, translation, annotation or arrangement of a preexisting work, the copyright in the work thus created shall be enjoyed by the adapter, translator, annotator or arranger, Provided that the exercise of such copyright shall not prejudice the copyright in the original work.

Article 13 Where a work is created jointly by two or more co-authors, the copyright in the work shall be enjoyed jointly by those co-authors. Co-authorship may not be claimed by anyone who has not participated in the creation of the work.

If a work of joint authorship can be separated into independent parts and exploited separately, each co-author shall be entitled to independent copyright in the parts that he has created, provided that the exercise of such copyright shall not prejudice the copyright in the joint work as a whole.

Article 14 A work created by compilation of several works, parts of works, data that do not constitute a work or other materials and having originality in the selection or arrangement of its contents is a work of compilation. The copyright in a work of compilation shall be enjoyed by the compiler, provided that the exercise of such copyright shall not prejudice the copyright in the preexisting works.

Article 15 The copyright in a cinematographic work and any work created by an analogous method of fl1m production shall be enjoyed by the producer of the work, but the scriptwriter, director, cameraman, lyricist, composer, and other authors thereof shall enjoy the right of authorship in the work, and have the right to receive remuneration pursuant to the contract concluded with the producer.

The authors of the screenplay, musical works and other works that are incorporated in a cinematographic work and work created by virtue of an analogous method of film production and can be exploited separately shall be entitled to exercise their copyright independently.

Article 16 A work created by a citizen in the fulfillment of tasks assigned to him by a legal entity or other organization shall be deemed to be a work created in the course of employment. The copyright in such work shall be enjoyed by the author, subject to the provisions of the second paragraph of this Article, provided that the legal entity or other organization shall have a priority right to exploit the work within the scope of its professional activities. During the two years after the completion of the work, the author shall not, without the consent of the legal entity or other organization, authorize a third party to exploit the work in the same way as the legal entity or other organization does.

In any of the following cases the author of a work created in the course of employment shall enjoy the right of authorship, while the legal entity or other organization shall enjoy the other rights included in the copyright and may reward the author:

(1) drawings of engineering designs and product designs and maps, computer software and other works created in the course of employment mainly with the material and technical resource of the legal entity or other organization and under its responsibility;

(2) works created in the course of employment where the copyright is, in accordance with laws, administrative regulations or contracts, enjoyed by the legal entity or other organization.

Article 17 The ownership of the copyright in a commissioned work shall be agreed upon in a contract between the commissioning and the commissioned parties. In the absence of a contract or of an explicit agreement in the contract, the copyright in such a work shall belong to the commissioned party.

Article 18 The transfer of ownership of the original copy of a work of fine art, or other works, shall not be deemed to include the transfer of the copyright in such work, provided that the right to exhibit the original copy of a work of fine art shall be enjoyed by the owner of such original copy.

Article 19 Where the copyright in a work belongs to a citizen, the right of exploitation and the rights under Article 10, paragraphs (5) to (17), of this Law in respect of the work shall, after his death, during the term of protection provided for in this Law, be transferred in accordance with the provisions of the Inheritance Law.

Where the copyright in a work belongs to a legal entity or other organization, the rights under Articles l0, paragraphs (5) to (l7), of this Law, shall, after the change or the termination of the status of the legal entity or other organization, during the term of protection provided for in this Law, be enjoyed by the succeeding legal entity or other organization which has taken over the former's rights and obligations, or, in the absence of such successor entity or other organization, by the State.

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