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Copyright protection of live esports broadcast under China's new Copyright Law

Tao Gong, Zhenni Fan, Stevo Popovic, Agudamu, and Guangxing Wang

Technology in Society, 2022, vol. 71, issue C

Abstract: Due to the explosive growth of esports competition and the emergence of a new esports industry, live esports broadcast has highlighted regulatory gaps, and the implementation of China's new Copyright Law (2020 Amendment) has partially compensated for those gaps. According to the new Copyright Law, live esports broadcast and the corresponding original game picture may be classified as audiovisual works, whereas the properties of works containing player-operated picture may be denied. The purpose of this opinion paper is to propose and clarify preliminary legal questions regarding copyrightable original game picture, player-operated picture, fair use, performer's rights, and protection models under the new Copyright Law. Based on our statutory interpretations of the new Copyright Law, it is suggested that: if classified as fair use, use of the original game picture in a live esports broadcast would harm the game developer's legitimate interests, and should not be considered fair use; and, esports players do not qualify for performer's rights because their work does not convey the game's aesthetics. When infringements such as pirated broadcasting and unlawful production of live esports broadcasts occur, applicable rights-holders such as game developers, event organizers, and live streaming platforms could pursue remedies under the new Copyright Law.

Keywords: Audiovisual works; Performer's rights; Fair use; Infringement; Pirated broadcasting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:teinso:v:71:y:2022:i:c:s0160791x22002640

DOI: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2022.102123

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