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Copyright protection in China

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What is protected by copyright in China?

Copyright protects works such as written material, music, photographs, audio-visual works, graphics, architectural works and computer software.

Copyrights are relevant for companies operating in a variety of sectors beyond cultural industries. For example, your company logo, product pictures on your website, instruction manuals, brochures and packaging designs can all be protected by copyrights.

For software companies, copyright is the main form of intellectual property.

How do I obtain protection for copyright in China?

In China, copyright protection is granted automatically upon completion of the work, regardless of whether this work takes place in Canada or in China. Registering your copyright is therefore not necessary but can done on a voluntarily basis with the Copyright Protection Center of China. The registration process is simple and you can apply directly or have an agent or lawyer apply on your behalf.

Why should I register copyrights in China?

Voluntary registration in China is recommended for key copyrighted material as it can serve as proof of ownership to facilitate enforcement of your rights should you discover infringement. However, software companies should carefully consider whether it makes sense to reveal part of their source code, which is a requirement for voluntary copyright registration.

Copyright registration can also add a layer of protection to works, such as logos, designs, etc., that are already registered as other types of intellectual property.

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