Last week, a panel of Chinese copyright legal experts and representatives from various DSPs and majors formally established a “Music Industry Legal Professional Committee” to create a strengthened legal backbone for the Chinese music industry.
The 30-strong panel of academics, legal experts, and government copyright agencies included reps from Universal Music and Warner Music’s China arms, as well as executives from Tencent, Baidu, NetEase and Alibaba.
Current copyright laws in China are by no means as lax as many westerners assume, but they are… slightly roomier than many of the western equivalents.
One argument in China is that this has enabled tech firms to lead, launching and scaling music platforms quickly without getting bogged down in legislation – which, they say, is good for everyone, as their new businesses eventually make lots of new money for copyright holders.
That said, the Chinese government has made significant interventions too: for example the moment when it forced unlicensed music search engines and services to either shut down or get licences en masse.
It’ll be interesting to see how this new committee suggests how China’s current copyright framework should be developed.