CISAC's Gibb scolds China on copyright violations

Asks authorities to respect creators' rights

TOKYO -- CISAC president Robin Gibb has called on the Chinese government to end what he says are copyright-law violations.

"How is it and how can it be that in China, the most populated country in the world and the organizer of the 2008 Olympic Games, the Chinese television and radio stations still pay no royalties to the Chinese and international creators of the works they broadcast?" Gibb said in a speech at the CISAC General Assembly in Rome on Friday.

The Bee Gee added, "As a composer and in the name of creators worldwide, I call on the Chinese authorities to respect creators' rights."

CISAC said that though China amended its copyright law in 2001 to stipulate that any radio or television station broadcasting a musical work must pay remuneration to copyright owners, this obligation has so far not been respected.

The international authors' body said that as a result, in the past six years, Chinese broadcasting stations, which have never paid any royalties for the use of Chinese or international music, have generated an estimated overall loss of $41 million for copyright owners (estimate based on the proposed rate of 0.5%).

If the tariff rates more typically seen at international level had been applied, the shortfall in earnings for Chinese and foreign creators would have had to be evaluated at more than $150 million, CISAC claims.