Public Use Rights in Copyright Law

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.10, 2020


Public Use Rights in Copyright Law



Liu Yinliang


Normative analysis can help us explore the foundations of the copyright system and critically examine the legal norms of copyright. “Author—copyright” and “publisher—neighboring rights” are the two pillars of traditional copyright law, in which the public basically plays a passive role. However, this does not reflect the reality of the copyright system, nor does it fully express its basic legal relationships. As users of the works, the public is an indispensable player and should have access to them. “The public—use rights” should become the third pillar of copyright law. These rights may be established under copyright law as justiciable rights with remedies. The three pillars of copyright law correspond to the creators, disseminators and users of works and their respective rights. The three players and their rights and obligations are mutually supportive, building a complete normative system of copyright law and advancing the basic goals of copyright law. We can expect that a copyright law based on the reinterpretation of the basic legal relationships of copyright in China will build a more fair, reasonable and effective copyright system and will also provide innovative experience to be drawn on in the development of the international community’s copyright system.