10-21 May 2010, France, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom
A delegation of judiciary from the Supreme People's Court (SPC), Chinese High Courts and Intermediary Courts participated in a study tour to Europe on the protection of copyrights on the internet. Six judges, experienced in the adjudication of cases of online piracy, were informed on European procedures for protecting copyrights on the internet and the latest developments of legislation and landmark cases in this field, as part of helping to increase capacity to adjudicate and handle IP cases and build long-term links with European judicial counterparts.
The evolution of information technologies has had a significant impact on the environment in which creative industries operate. As the number of internet connections increase, more users are gaining direct access to copyrighted works, most of which are pirated. As the creative industry is increasingly developing channels for trading legitimate works over the internet, regulators and judiciary alike faces the challenge of balancing copyright protection in the digital environment and access to information. As the number of IP cases increases, with Internet copyright cases growing the most rapidly, exchanges between Chinese and European judges is necessary to share experiences and build an open and ongoing dialogue.
Led by the Honourable Justice Jin, deputy Chief Justice of the IPR Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court, the delegates met with EU and Member State ministries, government agencies, public and private sector institutions and associations to exchange details of judicial experience in the different EU Member States. The study tour provided further interactive dialogue between the different participants, particularly on:
Trends and Recent developments
Challenges in the Digital Era (File sharing / swapping, Broadcasting, UGC, etc.)
Due balance of right owners' and public interest
Countermeasures and Remedies
Evidence and Case Handling
The study tour forms part of IPR2’s work in supporting the development of a continuous and comprehensive dialogue between the SPC and European stakeholders. Participants from both sides showed much interest in sharing information and learning from each other’s regulatory and policy framework, in particular on practical court cases in Germany, UK, Belgium and France. Together with the SPC, IPR2 will seek to further disseminate the results brought by these exchanges to a wider audience of judges.
The study follows on from a series of earlier activities with the SPC in this field, most notably the EU-China seminar on the Judicial Protection of Copyrights on the Internet (April 2009) by way of enhancing understanding of the Chinese judiciary on European and international practices of IPR protection, including handling evidence, procedures and remedies for actions to enforce online copyright to help increase the capacity for adjudicating and handling such cases.
As part of its work on IPR enforcement and co-operation with SPC, IPR2 also published a survey of the leading cases for online liability for copyright infringement in Europe. Download Online Copyright Liability: Leading European Cases.
SPC is the court of last resort in China and the highest trial organ and its judicial interpretations have the force of law. It reports to the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee; and is also the highest supervising organ over the trial practices of local people’s courts and special people’s courts at various levels. The IP Division of SP has original and appellate jurisdiction over all IP matters which cover patent, trade secrets, copyright, trademark, technology transfer contracts and unfair competition.
Supreme People’s Court (SPC)
For more information on copyright protection and enforcement, contact Mr Benoit Misonne
For general information on IPR2, contact Ms Tamryn Barker
[IPR2 ref: CC4.AW3.009]