There is still a misconception of the history of piracy in China. It was not the individual users who were pirating, music was pirated on a corporate level. It was the music industry itself that had no incentive to control copyright, but that has changed. China has recognized the need to secure copyright if it is to gain approval and respect from the West and create a thriving music industry. China has achieved exactly what it set out to do and is reflected in the growth of EDM, a very new genre for China.
Even now with Copyrights being policed on a corporate level the individual artist can still be proactive and monitor the usage of their own music. It is possible for an individual to use a channel such as the Music Copyright Society of China to try and enforce the removal of infringed material and the collection of royalties but this is a tedious process which also extracts a membership fee. Music is a business and a thriving one at that, a more efficient way of collecting royalties and securing your copyright is by using a digital distribution service such as Musicinfo.io to distribute, promote and collect from all your music. This is important because even the largest digital performance rights organization, Soundexchangedoesn’t collect from China.
The current system is far from fault. The direction the music industry is headed is only becoming more complicated. Debate and discussion is necessary in making plans for the future but there comes a time when the issues are clouded by too much thinking and discussion and action needs to be made. With the pot is stirred we can taste the soup and add more spice if needed. Make your voice heard, listen to what others are saying, read from reliable sources and know where you stand.
Types of Copyright
Public Performing Right
This is the right of the copyright owner to grant the right for their copyrighted material to be performed or transmitted to the public.
Public Performance License
Is a license issued on behalf of the copyright owner by an organization to grant the right for copyrighted material to be performed or transmitted to the public.
This is the right of the copyright owner to grant the right for their copyrighted material to grant the reproduction of a musical work into physical form such as CD, or record.
Is a license that grants the right to perform of record cover songs.
Is a license that allows the copyrighted material to be used in conjunction with other media such as film or commercials.
Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings
Controlled by Performance Rights Organizations to govern and collect royalties from digital consumption of music from non-interactive services such as internet radio and streaming services like Pandora.
As the music-streaming market matures in China, the major players, Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu advocate ending piracy by pushing copyright protection. This action by the big players is quite the opposite tradition of individual Western artists fighting to secure their copyrights by suing the infringing party. Although there are legislative differences in how each country deems the best policy for their citizens, there is another more potent incentive for abolishing copyright infringement: Profit. The music industry will not survive if it is not financially lucrative and the profitability of distributing Western music to China is obvious by the action taken by the big three (Sony, Universal and Warner), who now have distribution to China; They are not in it to test the waters but reel in the flow of royalties. It is key to be proactive and informed on current trends and legislations that govern your rights as a creator.