Latest sign of stricter IPR protection

ON MONDAY (November 5), China Audio-Video Copyright Association required karaoke businesses to stop using 6,000 songs. China Daily writer Zhang Zhouxiang comments:

A quick glimpse at the 6,000 songs shows most of them are songs that date back to the early 2000s even the 1990s, with many of them composed and originally sung by Hong Kong singers. Why are there few songs from later years or mainland performers?

It is because until recent years, China's copyright protection left much to be desired.

As a result, singers and songwriters could hardly earn a fair income from their intellectual products. Without the rewards, many singers and song writers gave up and turned to other ways to make a living. With singers and songwriters not making money there was little incentive for investors to put money in the industry, which led to the shortage of original music in the late 2000s.

This situation had its roots in technology, because with computers and the internet gaining popularity at unprecedented speed at that time, many young people found it easy to download their favorite music for free, instead of buying CDs. As China began strengthening its measures to protect intellectual property rights, the situation improved, with music-sharing websites featuring only authorized products.

China has been strengthening the legal and regulatory framework for intellectual property rights protection and in September last year, China announced a tough crackdown on intellectual property infringements to curb counterfeiting and combat copyright infringements.

And this July, China's copyright watchdog launched a four-month national campaign to crack down on online copyright infringement targeting online reposts of articles, video clips and animation games.

The move banning karaoke businesses from using the 6,000 songs is the latest initiative by China Audio-Video Copyright Association. Hopefully, it will not only boost China's music industry as a whole but also help promote a better awareness of intellectual property rights among consumers.

(Source: China Daily)