Open Licensing Viewed in China as a Copyright Protection Scheme

Dr. Chunyan Wang recently spoke at a Copyright Society of the USA (CSUSA) event in Seattle, Washington.  Dr. Wang is an Associate Professor at Renmin University of China Law School and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of Washington School of Law.  She is the project lead of the Creative Commons China Project.  She spoke on the Chinese experience with open licensing.  This post focuses on the traditional Chinese approach to creativity, current Chinese copyright law and how Creative Commons licenses provide a balance between them.

Creative Commons (CC) is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.”  (About page, CC website).  CC licenses provide creators with a way to share their works with others with fewer constraints than a traditional U.S. copyright license.  Instead of the default “all rights reserved” in the typical U.S. copyright license, a CC license is granted with “some rights reserved.”  Dr. Wang described how CC licenses are viewed in China as a copyright protection, compared to the U.S. attitude of offering less than full copyright protection.  My takeaway from Dr. Wang’s presentation is that anyone considering doing business in China should be prepared to work with the Creative Commons licensing model or another open licensing model.

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