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|Wednesday, October 31, 2001, updated at 13:48(GMT+8)|
Commentary: Historic ProgressThe Copyright Law (amendment) of the People's Republic of China was examined and approved by the 24th Session of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC). The present revision, which lasted for several years and underwent a tortuous, repeated process, finally reached unanimity at the Standing Committee session. This is a matter worth congratulation.
The Copyright Law is an extremely important statute in the aspect of citizens' intellectual property rights. Since its promulgation in 1990, it has played a vital role in protecting the legal rights and interests of the copyright holders, inspiring their creative ability and wisdom, promoting the development of science, technology and economy and the prosperity of culture and art. However, it was, after all, enacted a dozen years ago, at that time it was impossible to foresee the many subsequently occurred new situations and new problems. Along with the rapid development of global science, technology and economy, and the ever-deepening of China's socialist market economy, the original "Copyright Law" has, in many aspects, become unsuitable for today's new situation. Significant progress has been made in the present revision, particularly in the aspects, such as making further concrete improvement in the content of the copyright, solving the new problem raised by the development of high and new technology on the protection of copyright, solving the problem concerning China's connection, after its WTO entry, with related international conventions, as well as meting out more severe administrative punishment of acts of infringement on copyright. This progress is an important expression of the daily perfection of China's system for legal protection of intellectual property rights, it is all the more a concrete practice of the in-depth development in the construction of China's socialist democratic legal system.
In the present revision, the NPC Standing Committee listened extensively to opinions, engaged in full discussion and drew upon all useful opinions and suggestions. In light of the development of the international and domestic situation, the Standing Committee, basing itself persistently on reality, correctly handled the relations between the right-holder, disseminator and the general public, between performing international obligation and domestic copyright protection, and between high and new technology development and copyright protection, thus making it possible to achieve further improvement in the amendment. The adoption of the amendment gives full expressions to the high attention paid by the Chinese government to strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights and marks the beginning of a new stage in China's copyright protection level.
The period from the enactment of the Copyright Law in the early 90s to its revision today is an important period of China's further reform and opening-up endeavor. It is precisely in such a historical period that this law has changed from a statute being strange to the people to a law attracting the general attention of the public; from a law seen as serving only writers and artists to a law acknowledged by all citizens and affirmed as a guarantee for personal rights; and from a law once closed and clearly stamped with the brands of the planned economy to a law open, being both conforming to socialist market economic development and scientific and technological progress and gradually coming into line with the world standard. This is not merely a change in law. It is through such a change that we can deeply feel the never-ending changes of our society and increasing respect for knowledge, and feel the firm and sturdy steps taken in the construction of our socialist democracy and the legal system. That is historical progress and is the progress made in the reform and opening-up drive.
This article, written by a commentator of People's Daily, is published alongside the full text of this Copyright Law consisting of 60 articles in six chapters (in Chinese) on Page 7 of the newspaper October 31.
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