What types of material are protected by copyright?

Copyright law protects all manner of materials and applies not just including printed publishing, but also manuscripts, digital and physical formats. It protects both public works (e.g. books, broadcasts) and unpublished works (e.g. diaries, letters). 

The following categories of works are protected in Chinese law:

  • written musical , oral, or dramatic works, including quyi;
  • photographic, fine art and architecture;
  • cinematographic or similar, such as video recordings;
  • drawings of engineering designs, product designs, maps, sketches, graphics and models;
  • and, computer software.

What should you be aware of?

There are variations in copyright rules and licensing which affect the way different types of materials can be copied or reused within the law. For instance, it can depend on the type of material as to how long copyright protection lasts.   

There are related rights, in addition to copyright, that may need to be considered for certain types of materials. For example, where a work contains a performance, the performer will also have performance rights over how the work is used.