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China’s Copyright Administration Issues Notice on Photographic Works

On June 11, 2020, the National Copyright Administration of the People’s Republic of China published the “Notice of the National Copyright Administration on Regulating the Copyright Order of Photographic Works.” The Notice confirms photographs are protected by the copyright law and specifically the exception to copyright protection under Article 5(2) for news does not apply to news-related photographs.

The notice also affirms that anyone publishing a copyright owner’s photograph, including on the Internet, much obtain permission and pay compensation to the copyright owner. 

Further, the notice provides for moral rights: without permission of the author, the photograph cannot be substantially modified, the title cannot be changed, and the original intention of the photographic work cannot be changed. These moral rights extend past copyright expiration.

Section 3 of the Notice authorizes collective management associations to manage photographic copyrights and the association, once appointed, can act in its own name including litigation and arbitration.

There are 10 sections in total and the full text is available here.


Principal, and Director of the China Intellectual Property Practice

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