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China Introduces Film Copyright Charges

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

22 October 2010

The Chinese National Copyright Administration (CFCA) has published details of a new scheme for collecting royalties on films.

The CFCA will commence collecting copyright royalties on "film libraries" of Internet cafes and on long-distance bus services. However, a uniform tariff has been devised for all Internet cafes, regardless of whether they have a film library or not. The association's 62 members, including China Film Group Corporation, H. Brothers Movies and New Pictures Corporation, own rights to the majority of Chinese made films.

The tariff for an Internet cafe with 100 computers that charges CNY3 per hour was reported by Xinhua to be CNY22.5 a day, or about CNY8,000 (USD1,200) annually. Long-distance bus services would be charged CNY365-500 annually for screening movies, apparently irrespective of whether movies are screened or not.

Zhu Yongde, president of CFCA said the scheme would begin on January 1, 2011 in eight municipalities and provinces, including Beijing, Shanghai and eastern Jiangsu Province, before going countrywide.

Revenues from royalties could reach about CNY20m (USD3m) in 2011 and CNY100m by 2013, according to CFCA, and 90% would be distributed to association members, with the remaining 10% retained by CFCA as a collection fee.

The CFCA said that collection on behalf of foreign film producers was not included in the scheme but it invited foreign producers to come and discuss ways and means so that a proposal could be submitted to the National Copyright Administration for approval.

The CFCA may in future be authorized to extend collection activities to airlines and television companies.

TAGS: royalties | commerce | law | intellectual property | copyright | China | e-commerce | regulation

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