Copyright coming to China:
- In a triumph for China’s capitalist ambitions over its leftist history, the country’s revolutionary museum has lost a copyright lawsuit over a painting of communist founder Mao Zedong.
The Museum of the Chinese Revolution – a major landmark in central Beijing – and a Shanghai company were ordered to pay the Chinese artist’s family the equivalent of $31,000 for selling copies without permission, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday.
….”The result justifies respect for the creative work of an artist in a civilized society,” Dong Yisha was quoted as saying. She is also a painter.
Recent news reports have detailed several lawsuits over property rights, personal injuries and other matters. Chinese leaders want to promote an image of China’s courts as a tool for economic growth and social stability.
They also hope both to increase foreign investors’ confidence and to restore public faith in a system where rampant corruption and official abuses threaten to destroy acceptance of communist rule.
Human rights groups and foreign trading partners are pressuring China to reduce corruption and political interference courts and to make rulings conform to legal guidelines.
The court in the painting lawsuit noted that under Chinese law, a copyright extends until 50 years after an artist’s death, according to Xinhua. It said Dong Xiwen died about 30 years ago. [AP]