Nation to Strengthen Protection of Culture

China will bolster intellectual property rights protection in cultural fields to tackle an increasing number of problems related to intellectual property, said a senior official from the State Intellectual Property Office at a recent meeting.

"To guard China's increasing amount of cultural resources as well as the interests of those individuals and institutions that carry on traditions of folk literature, two departments affiliated with the Ministry of Culture signed cooperation contracts with SIPO in Beijing," said He Hua, deputy commissioner of SIPO.

The two units are the National Information Resources Management Center and the Center for Ethnic and Folk Literature and Art Development.

"IPR protection in cultural fields has been highlighted in a national IP strategy enforcement promotion plan," He said. "SIPO will spare no efforts to extensively cooperate with the two afore-mentioned units to help them solve problems, promote awareness and cultivate professionals in this field.

"We will do further investigations into those pressing concerns in cultural fields, such as the copyright ownership of public cultural resources and the mechanism to balance the interests in national cultural information resources sharing projects.

"Meanwhile, we'll also propose practical suggestions on IPR abuse and protection, which are the serious problems in China's folk literature and arts field," he said.

"Making use of SIPO and the Ministry of Culture's resources will be a good attempt at IPR protection in cultural field," he added.

Li Hong, director of the National Information Resources Management Center, applauded the cooperation and welcomed the move.

"The cultural information resources sharing project involves a huge amount of digital resources during the three main processes of recording, transferring and service. Every step involves many IPR problems," he said. "If we cannot solve these problems better, they will seriously hinder the healthy, sustainable development of our work."

Li Song, director of the Center for Ethnic and Folk Literature and Art Development, also showed his concern and hope for the cooperation.

"Many of our folk literature and arts resources were collected in the 1970s to 1980s. It is the transition period from a planned economy to a market economy," Li said.

"The ownership of the copyrights to many collections is not very clear. And, currently, IPR-related laws and policies in folk literature and arts still need to be improved," he said.

"Our center is much honored to be chosen as a SIPO cooperation partner. I am sure that our IPR protection work will further improve with the platform's support," Li said.

Yang Zhijin, vice-minister of culture, also highlighted the importance of IPR protection in cultural fields. "The Ministry of Culture has taken up the task of establishing a national public cultural service system, which involves the rights to a huge amount of digital resources."

"How to protect IPR and, in the meanwhile, to allow our people to enjoy the resources is an important task facing us now and in the future," he said.

"Our ministry is also the department charged with managing and protecting national cultural heritage. Folk literature and arts, as important parts of traditional culture, have countless IPR-related problems worthy of further discussion," Yang added.

"IPR work in the cultural system covers many areas, such as copyright, trademark and patent. Protection in these fields is still at a stage of infancy. We still have more to do and to learn," he added.

(Source: China Daily)