News & Cases from China: September 2018
Hangzhou Internet Court Officially Launches Judicial Blockchain System to fully process Electronic Data
On 18 September 2018, at a news conference held by the Hangzhou Internet Court, the judicial blockchain was officially launched. It makes the entire processing of electronic data fromthe generation to storage and distribution more reliable and credible.
It has been reported that the judicial blockchain system is composed of three layers. The first layer is a judicial alliance of notary service agencies, judicial examination centers and courts; the second layer is a blockchain program, which allows users to keep a complete record of their electronic evidence; the third layer is a full chain, which mainly provides functions for electronic signatures, data access and time stamping.
Beijing Internet Court is Inaugurated – First case Filed by Douyin
Beijing Internet Court was established on 9 September 2018, opening an electronic litigation platform. The first case was a dispute about information network transmission rights between Douyin and Huopai’s short video App. In this case, the plaintiff Douyin created an account at the court's electronic litigation platform and submitted legal documents and applications to the platform. After the court’s examination, the case was accepted. The plaintiff can log onto the account and monitor the progress of the trial.
The plaintiff Douyin claimed that “Douyin video App” is an original short video sharing platform, legally owned and operated by the plaintiff. The defendant, without the permission of the plaintiff, arbitrarily spread the involved video and provided download service on the “Huopai video” platform, which is operated by the defendant. The defendant’s behaviour caused huge economic losses to the plaintiff. The plaintiff brought a lawsuit against the defendant and this case is awaited.
At present, there is no specific legal provisions providing protection to the short video industry in China. Whether the short video involved in this case constitutes a copyrightable work and the right boundary of copyright work are valuable legal issues.
CNIPA has Accepted Applications for the Protection of Geographical Indication Products from EU for the First Time
Recently, China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) issued an announcement in accordance with the Provisions on the Protection of Geographical Indication Products and the Measures for the Protection of Foreign Geographical Indication Products and accepted the applications of two EU products to protect geographical indications. This is a concrete measure to promote the progress of the negotiation between China and EU on the Agreement on Cooperation and Protection of Geographical Indications.
CNIPA will further promote bilateral cooperation in the protection of geographical indications.
The Court Determined the Amount of Compensation in the Karaoke Infringement Case
The karaoke managed by Wanli C-artier, arbitrarily displayed the music video works without the permission of the China Audio-Video Copyright Association (CAVCA). CAVCA filed a lawsuit against Wanli C-artier.
Yuncheng Intermediate Court in Shanxi Province held that the defendant had infringed copyright and should pay compensation for economic losses to the CAVCA. According to CAVCA’s karaoke utilisation fees and the guidance of the Shanxi Higher People's Court, Yuncheng Intermediate Court ruled the compensation should calculated as RMB 5 (US 0.7$) per room per day. In this case, the compensation for 30 karaoke rooms is RMB 54,750 (US 7,893.31$). This case provides a new way to determine the compensation standard in the case of karaoke copyright infringement.