According to a new regulation approved by the State Council, broadcasters are required to pay royalties to copyright holders if they play music on the air.
China has moved into step with the world by apply copyright to music. But this is a contentious issue. For example, in the United States a company claims royalties on Happy Birthday to You, which was written and composed by American sisters Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill in 1893.
The new regulation, which becomes effective on Jan. 1, stipulates that radio and television stations can pay music copyright owners fees calculated by using one of three criteria. Administering it will not be easy.
The broadcasters can pay the copyright owners a fixed lump sum fee mutually decided by broadcasters and copyright management organizations annually.If they cannot agree on fees, they can pay the owners a portion of advertising revenues. For example, the copyright owners can get 0.01% of a station’s advertising income if music occupies less than 1% of program time.Broadcasters can also choose to pay copyright owners a fee based on the duration of music played during the program. Radio stations will pay 4 cents if they play music for a minute, and TV stations have should pay 22 cents.
Liu Ping, head of the legal department for the Music Copyright Society of China, which is financed by the music industry, praised the regulation. He said, "Broadcasting organizations paying the music composer fees will promote the development of the music industry."
This activity may all have been caused by the 2010 Shanghai Expo. Organizers of the Expo emphasized the importance of protecting the intellectual property rights (IPR) of Expo emblems during a recent news conference in Shanghai.
IPR protections for the Expo emblems went into effect in October 2004, and all levels of the Administration for Industry and Commerce have spared no efforts to protect Expo emblems, said Zhao Gang, deputy director of China’s trademark office.
China Daily reported that the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination has registered as many as 61 Expo emblems, and Zhao said the market will be regulated for the next 18 months to protect those emblems.