Orphan Work Problem under Chinese Copyright Law

 Orphan Works in the Context of Chinese Copyright Law:
A Comparative Research


Abstract: "Orphan Works" means works whose copyright (if not expired) owners can hardly be located, hence the users may not exploit the works lawfully with the licenses issued by right owners. Discussions to this topic in the U.S. and Britain have been raised for years, and the Bills for orphan Works have been introduced to the U.S. congress several times. The dilemma of orphan works and abandon softwares also exists in the context of Chinese copyright system, and this phenomena may be more widespread because the history of Chinese copyright law in the recent 100 years are inconsistent, unsteady and intermittent. Furthermore, the current Chinese copyright system is of not mature enough. It not merely lacks solutions for  the orphan work problem, but also exists unreasonable provisions that may worsen it. Four factor should be considered when one is about to solve the problem: (1) comply with the three-step test; (2) based on existing legal system of the country; (3) minimize the cost of both right owners and users; (4) guarantee the predictability of the benifits and the obligations. Based on these four premises, this article critically reviewed the solutions in the U.S., Canada and Japan,  and then proposed a set of multi-method and integrated suggestion that suit to the features of Chinese copyright regime.

orphan Work, statutory licence, compulsory licence, authorship, public domain

The paper (in Chinese, 21,000 words) has been accomplished in Nov. 2006, and it is continuously updating before the formal publication. If you need it, please conatct the author.





[摘要] “孤儿作品”是指因难以找到权利人而无法取得使用授权的作品。美国《2006孤儿作品法案》已被提交国会讨论。孤儿作品现象在中国同样存在且可能更为普遍,现行中国著作权法律体系不但没有为该问题的解决提供足够的制度资源,而且还存在着不合理的规则。在选择孤儿作品问题的治理方案时应考虑四个方面的因素,以它们为评价标准,综合各种解决模式的优长,结合中国体制的特点后,方可形成一套多模式并用的、中国的孤儿作品法律治理方案。

[关键词] 孤儿作品、法定许可、强制许可、作者、著作权

ps: 全文约二万余字,初稿完成于2006年并不断更新中,此乃本豆最认真的作品之一,可惜一直没能有机会正式发表,如需要请联系作者。

Update 20121104: 全文已经发出,请点这里查看本文动笔于2006年,初稿完成于2008年并纳入本人论文《多元视角下的著作权法公共领域问题研究》,后经修改在2010年知识产权“南湖论坛”上作为主题发言。鉴于中国国家版权局《著作权法修正案》(草案)中提及孤儿作品问题,但真正深入的论述仍然十分罕见,特再次修改并全文发出,以便研究者和立法者予以批评和参考。


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