China Law Blogs

Posts from blogs about Law in China

  • China Company Indemnification From Product Defects. Yeah, Whatever.American lawyers love using indemnification provisions in product manufacturing agreements. They love them so much that they often use them in China manufacturing contracts (OEM Agreements) even though they do not work well at all there. American lawyers often put in a provision stating that if there is a product recall, the Chinese company must indemnify the… Continue Reading
  • China Employment Contracts: Do Not Try This At Home, Part IIDid a post yesterday explaining why I got so upset with the idea of an American domestic lawyer writing the employment contracts for his company’s China WFOE. That post, China Employment Contracts: Do Not Try This At Home, listed out a few of the more important things I was pretty certain this lawyer would miss in… Continue Reading
  • China’s Film Industry Online, Part IChina’s theatrical box office market may be huge but the ancillary revenues (i.e. non-box office) are still relatively small in China. This is the first in a series of posts on developments in China’s digital ancillaries in a lead-up to the US-China Film Summit, which I will be attending along with a number of other lawyers from… Continue Reading
  • Budget Law revisions tighten, not loosen, central government’s control over local government bond issues
  • James Millward on the Ilham Tohti case and China’s policies toward Uighurs
  • Ilham Tohti sentenced to life imprisonment
  • IP Dragon has found a new den: IPDRAGON.ORG
    From now on, you can find new articles of IP Dragon on: ipdragon.org.

    So good bye to ipdragon.blogspot,com and hello ipdragon.org.
    All ipdragon.blogspot.com links will continue to be active, but will be redirected to ipdragon.org
    Also you can find the articles from 2005 until now on ipdragon.org.

  • Constructed Knowledge Works Like a Red Flag To An Internet Intermediary
     Shades of Red by Skram1 see Colourlovers
    The real question: “What shade of red will attract liability?

    After publishing a draft of the copyright law, the National Copyright Administration comes now with a A Brief Explanation concerning the Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China (Revision Draft)translated by China Copyright and Media. It makes the copyright more complete but most things were already known.

    This time let us look at the safe harbor provisions for network service providers, which were already promulgated in 2006 in the Regulation on the Protection of the Right to Network Dissemination of Information, and will probably be incorporated in the copyright law. The provisions exempt them from civil secondary liability of copyright infringements and related rights infringements. The Chinese safe harbor is broader than Title 17 U.S.C. section 512, Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) because it also includes the related rights performances and audio-visual recordings, and more narrower than Chapter 2, section 4, articles 12-15 Electronic Commerce Directive of the EU, because the latter applies horizontally, which means to all infringing online material.

    Since primary and secondary liability is such a colourful subject, this author has used primary and secondary colours to show similarities of concept between the different jurisdictions.

    DMCA (USA)
    - transitory digital network communications
    - system caching
    - information residing on systems or networks at direction of users
    - information location tools
    - non-profit educational institutions

    E-Commerce Directive (EU)
    - mere conduit
    - caching
    - hosting

    Network Dissemination Information Regulation  (China)
    - automatic access
    - automatic storage
    - information storage space to users, or services to the public
    - searching or linking services
    - educational institutions


    Chinese networks that host can be exempted from civil liability if they have no actual nor constructed knowledge. In the Network Dissemination Information Regulation there is article 22 (1): “Having not known and having no justified reason to know that the works, performances, or audio-visual recordings provided by the service object have infringed upon an other’s right;”

    In the DMCA the constructed knowledge (Red flag) provision is § 512(c)(1)(A)(ii): limiting liability where, “in the absence of such actual knowledge, [the service provider] is not aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent”. 

    Almost the same wording can be found in the E-Commerce Directive the constructed knowledge provision can be found in article 14 (a): “the provider does not have actual knowledge of illegal activity or information and, as regards claims for damages, is not aware of facts or circumstances from which the illegal activity or information is apparent“.

    In Viacom v. YouTube, that was decided April 5, 2012 by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, it was formulated eloquently: “The difference between actual and red flag knowledge is thus not between specific and generalized knowledge, but instead between a subjective and an objective standard.  In other words, the actual knowledge provision turns on whether the provider actually or “subjectively” knew of specific infringement, while the red flag provision turns on whether the provider was subjectively aware of facts that would have made the specific infringement “objectively” obvious to a reasonable person.

    UPDATE: April 8, 2012, translation of Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China has been uploaded on China Copyright and Media here, and includes:

    Article 69: “When network service providers provide storage, search, linking and other purely technological network services to network users, they do not bear a duty to examine for information concerning copyright or related rights.
                     Where network users utilize network services to conduct activities infringing copyright or related rights, the infringed person may notify the network service provider in writing, and require it to adopt necessary measures such as deletion, shielding, breaking links, etc. Where the network service provider adopts the necessary measures timely after receipt of the notification, it does not bear responsibility for compensation; where it does not timely adopt the necessary measures, it bears joint responsibility with the said network user.
                     Where network service providers know or should know that network users use their network services to infringe copyright, and do not adopt necessary measures, they bear joint liability with the said network users.

    Joint liability suggests the same gravitas as the liability of a primary infringer. This might be different from the U.S. and EU secondary liability.

  • Chinese Movie Posters Give You “Double Vision” Without The AlcoholClone and Original
    The silver screen is known to bring out the imagination of people. However, China’s film industry has not given birth to a poster child of creativity, eyeing laboriously to any movie that has some measure of success, Chinese or foreign, and subsequently clone the film poster designs.

    In November of 2011 I had my doubts about the independent creation of a Taiwanese movie poster, see here. Now Jing Gao of Ministry of Tofu has a series of 41 pairs of copycats and their originals, see here.

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