Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Only 5,000 Companies That Pay For Background Music In The Whole Of China

People's Daily Online runs a Xinhua story with the title More than 5,000 companies pay for "background music" in China.

According to Qu Jingming, secretary-general of the Chinese Music Copyright Protection Association (CMCP) it is required by standard international practice that public venues obtain permission and pay royalties for background music: "It is also clearly defined in our national law."

Qu is referring to article 8 of the Amended Copyright Law of the PRC 2001:
The copyright owners and copyright-related right holders may authorize an organization for collective administration of copyright to exercise the copyright or any copyright-related right. After authorization, the organization for collective administration of copyright may, in its own name, claim the right for the copyright owners and copyright-related right holders, and participate, as an interested party, in litigation or arbitration relating to the copyright or copyright-related right. The organization for collective administration of copyright is a non-profit organization. Provisions for the mode of its establishment, rights and obligations, collection and distribution of the royalties of copyright licensing, and supervision and administration thereof shall be separately established by the State Council.

The Music Copyright Society of China (MCSC) is such an organisation for collective administration of copyright, also called a collecting society. MCSC, established in December 17, 1992, is a non profit-making social organization with the status of a legal person in whose name the Chinese music copyright owners exercise their rights by way of collective administration. MCSC is subject to the vocational guidance and supervision and management of the Press and Publication of China (National Copyright Administration of China, NCAC ), Musician Association of China and the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

In 2001, only 63 companies in China paid for background music, read here. Compared to the size of the country and the number of shops and restaurants that play background music the number "over 5,000 companies" in 2006 is still extremely low. That is, if the word "over" does not mean a few honderd thousand companies.

Read the People's Daily Online here.

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