Copyright ELM

Copyright is a form of intellectual property that protects a creator’s exclusive right to control who reproduces or alters the product of their original creative effort. Copyright protects the producers of any original work, and is relevant to almost all businesses, not just those in the creative industry. Adequate copyright protection can form an important part of an IPR protection strategy. Businesses regularly create articles, photographs, drawings, designs, models, websites, computer software, etc., which all enjoy copyright protection. Copyright is an automatic right that arises the moment a work is created. Once a work is created, in most cases, the creator will automatically enjoy copyright protection in all 164 member countries of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works including all European Union countries and China.

Voluntary registration for your copyright is available in China. Though your work is automatically protected by copyright the moment it is created, voluntary registration will provide proof of ownership, which can save you time and money in case of a dispute later on. For copyrights that are particularly important to the livelihood of your business (i.e., website, software, catalogue, customer database, etc.), you should strongly consider registering your copyright.

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