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Regulations for the Protection of Computer Software

第一章  总  则

Chapter I   General Provisions

第一条  为保护计算机软件著作权人的权益,调整计算机软件在开发、传播和使用中发生的利益关系,鼓励计算机软件的开发与流通,促进计算机应用事业的发展,依照《中华人民共和国著作权法》的规定,制定本条例。

Article1. In order to protect the rights and interests of creators of computer software, to adjust the relationships of interest during the development, dissemination and use of computer software, to encourage the development and circulation of computer software, and to promote the development of computer applications these regulations are enacted in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China.

第二条  本条例所称的计算机软件(简称软件,下同)是指计算机程序及其有关文档。

Article2. For the purposes of these regulations computer software (hereinafter referred to as software) refers to computer programs and related documentation.

第三条  本条例下列用语的含义是:

Article3. Meanings of the following words used in these regulations are:


(1) Computer programs: refers to coded instructional sequences-or those symbol ic instructional sequences or numeric language sequences which can be automatically converted into coded instructional sequences-which are for the purpose of obtaining a certain result and which are operated on information processing equipment such as computers.


Computer programs include source code programs and object code programs. The source code text of a piece of software and its object code text should be seen as one work.


(2) Documentation: refers to written materials and diagrams, using natural language or formal language, which are used to describe the contents, organization, design, functions and specifications, development circumstances, testing results and method of use of the program, for example: program design explanations, flow charts, user manuals, etc.


(3) Software developers: refers to those legal persons or units which are not legal persons (hereinafter referred to as units) who actually organize, undertake the work of development, and provide working conditions to complete the development of software and who take responsibility for the software as well; citizens who rely on their own conditions to complete software and who take responsibility for the software.


(4) Software copyright owners: refers to those units and citizens who, in accordance with these regulations, enjoy the copyright of a computer software.


(5) Reproduction: refers to the act of transferring software into a material form.

第四条  本条例所称对软件的保护,是指软件的著作权人或者其受让者享有本条例规定的软件著作权的各项权利。

Article4. The provision of protection to computer software, as referred to in these regulations, refers to (the fact that) that computer software copyright holders or transferees enjoy all the rights of copyright stipulated in these regulations.

第五条  受本条例保护的软件必须由开发者独立开发,并已固定在某种有形物体上。

Article5. Software which enjoys protection under these regulations must be independently developed by the developer and must already be in material form.

第六条  中国公民和单位对其所开发的软件,不论是否发表,不论在何地发表,均依照本条例享有著作权。

Article6. Chinese citizens and units enjoy the copyright under these regulations for software they have developed, regardless of whether it has been published and regardless of where it has been published.


Foreigner's software first published in China enjoys the copyright under these regulations.


Software published outside of China by foreigners enjoys copyright in China and protection under these regulations according to a bilateral agreement signed between the country to which it belongs and China or according to international convention to which they are both parties.

第七条  本条例对软件的保护不能扩大到开发软件所用的思想、概念、发现、原理、算法、处理过程和运行方法。

Article7. The protection provided to software under these regulations cannot be expanded to encompass the ideas, concepts, discoveries, principles, algorithms, processing methods and operations used in the development of computer software.

第八条  国务院授权的软件登记管理机构主管全国软件的登记工作。

Article8. The State Council's designated software registration agency administers the registration of software throughout the entire country.

第二章  计算机软件著作权

Chapter II   Computer Software Copyrights

第九条  软件著作权人享有下列各项权利:

Article9. Software copyright holders enjoy the following rights:


(1) Right of publication, is the right to decide whether the software should b e released to the public;


(2) Developer's right of authorship, is the right to indicate the developer's identity and to place his name on the software;


(3) The right of use, is the right to use the software by copying, demonstrating, distributing, altering, translating, annotating, etc., under the precondition of not harming the public interest.


(4) The right of licensing use and receiving remuneration, is the right to license others, under provision 3 of this article, to use the entire software or a part of it, and the right to get remuneration for this.


(5) The right of transfer, is the right to transfer to others the right of use and right of licensing under provisions 3 and 4 of this article.

第十条  软件著作权属于软件开发者,本条例有专门规定者从其规定。

Article10. The copyright of a software belongs to its developer, where this regulations have specific stipulations those should be followed.

第十一条  由两个以上的单位、公民合作开发的软件,除另有协议外,其软件著作权由各合作开发者共同享有。

Article11. Where software is developed jointly by 2 or more units, citizens, except as provided for in a separate agreement, the copyright of the software shall be jointly enjoyed by the developers.


Exercise of the copyright co-developers shall be carried out in accordance with any written agreement reached prior to creation of the software.


If there is no written agreement, and if the jointly developed software can be used in separate parts, the co-developers can separately enjoy the copyright on the parts they developed, but during the exploitation of the copyright this may not be extended to the copyright of the jointly developed work in its entirety.


If the jointly developed software cannot be used in separate parts, the co-developers may exploit the copyright by consensus.


If consensus cannot be reached, and in the absence of any unusual reasons, neither party can prevent the other from implementing its exclusive rights, with the exception of the right of transfer to a third party. However, any benefits earned shall be fairly distributed among the co-authors.

第十二条  受他人委托开发的软件,其著作权的归属由委托者与受委托者签定书面协议约定,如无书面协议或者在协议中未作明确约定,其著作权属于受委托者。

Article12. The copyright of software which is commissioned to be developed by another person, shall be governed by any written agreement signed between the person who commissioned the work and the person who undertook the commission; if there is no written agreement or if it is not clearly stipulated in the agreement, the copyright shall be enjoyed by the person undertaking the commission.

第十三条  由上级单位或者政府部门下达任务开发的软件,著作权的归属由项目任务书或者合同规定,如项目任务书或者合同中未作明确规定,软件著作权属于接受任务的单位。

Article13. The copyright of software which is developed pursuant to tasks assigned by a legal person's superior organization or government department shall be based on stipulations contained in the project task document or contract; if not clearly stipulated in the project task document or contract, the copyright belongs to the organization to which the task was assigned.


With regard to software which possesses major significance for national or public security interests and is developed by organizations within this system or organizations under their jurisdiction, responsible departments of the State Council or the People's Governments of provinces, autonomous regions, or centrally administered cities have the right to permit designated organizations to use the software. The organization using such software will pay a fee according to relevant national regulations.

第十四条  公民在单位任职期间所开发的软件,如是执行本职工作的结果,即针对本职工作中明确指定的开发目标所开发的,或者是从事本职工作活动所预见的结果或者自然的结果,则该软件的著作权属于该单位。

Article14. If software developed by a citizen while working in an organization is the product of work executed for the organization, is developed in accordance with the clearly stipulated development goals for work in the organization, or is the predictable or natural result of activities involved in the organization's work, then the software's copyright belongs to the organization.


If software developed by a citizen is not the result of work executed for the organization, has no direct relationship to the content of the work at the organization in which the developer is engaged, and does not use the organization's material technical conditions, the software's copyright belongs to the developer himself.

第十五条  软件著作权的保护期为二十五年,截止于软件首次发表后第二十五年的十二月三十一日。

Article15. The term of protection of software copyright is 25 years, ending on the 31st of December of the twenty- fifth year after the first publication of the software.


Prior to the fulfillment of the term of protection, the software copyright holder may apply to the software registration administration organization to extend the protection by 25 years, although the period of protection may not exceed 50 years at the longest.


There is no limit on the period of protection of the software developer's right of authorship.

第十六条  在软件著作权的保护期内,软件著作权的继承者可根据《中华人民共和国继承法》的有关规定,继承本条例第九条第(三)项和第(四)项规定的权利。

Article16. During term of copyright protection of a given piece of software, the software copyright holder's heir may, in accordance with relevant provisions in the "People's Republic of China Inheritance Law", inherit the rights in Items 3 and 4 of Article 9 of these regulations.


The act of inheritance may not change the term of protection of the rights of the software.

第十七条  在软件著作权的保护期内,享有软件著作权的单位发生变更后,由合法的继承单位享有该软件的各项权利。

Article17. During the term of copyright protection of a given piece of software, after a change has occurred in the organization which holds the software's copyright, the succeeding organization legally will enjoy all the rights to the software.


The occurrence of succession will not change the term of protection of the software's rights.

第十八条  在软件著作权的保护期内,软件的著作权人或者其受让者有权许可他人行使本条例第九条第(三)项规定的使用权。

Article18. During the software copyright's term of protection, the software copyright holder or his transferee may authorize others to implement the right of use Article 9, Item 3, of these regulations.


Software copyright holders or their transferees may receive a fee while they are authorizing others to implement the right of use.


Authorization to implement a software copyright should be agreed and executed according to China's laws and regulations in the form of a written contract.


The authorized person should implement the right of use within the form, conditions, scope, and period of the contract.


The period of effectiveness an authorizing contract may not exceed 10 years. When the period is complete, the contract may be extended.


The act of authorization cited described above does not alter ownership of software copyright.

第十九条  在软件著作权的保护期内,由本条例第九条第(三)项和第(四)项规定的使用权和使用许可权的享有者,可以把使用权和使用许可权转让给他人。

Article19. During the software copyright period of protection, those who enjoy the rights of use and license under Article 9, Items 3 and 4, may transfer the rights use and license to other people.


Authorization to transfer copyright should be carried out in accordance with laws and regulations of China under a signed and executed written contract.


The act of transfer does not alter ownership of software copyright.

第二十条  软件著作权保护期满后,除开发者身份权以外,该软件的其他各项权利即行终止。

Article20. When the term of validity of a software copyright expires, all rights to the software cease, except for the developer's right of authorship.


In the event that any circumstances fit either of the following situations, all rights to a given piece of software, except the right of authorship, will enter the public domain prior to the end of the term of protection:


(1) The organization holding the software copyright terminates (dissolves) and there is no legal successor;


(2) The citizen holding the software copyright dies without a legal heir.

第二十一条  合法持有软件复制品的单位、公民,在不经该软件著作权人同意的情况下,享有下列权利:

Article21.Those organizations or citizens who legally own reproductions of software have the right, without obtaining consent of the proprietary owner, to:


(1) To install and use in a computer according to the needs of use;


(2) For the purpose of maintaining files, make a backup copy. However these ba ck-up copies may not be provided to other persons by any means.


Once the owners lose the rights legally to own this software, these reference copies must be completely destroyed;


(3) In order to carry out necessary revisions for the purpose of using said software in the real computer environment or improving its performance. However, except in cases where there is additional agreement, (the owner) may not provide to any third party the revised document, without the agreement of the software copyright holder or his legal transferee.

第二十二条  因课堂教学、科学研究、国家机关执行公务等非商业性目的的需要对软件进行少量的复制,可以不经软件著作权人或者其合法受让者的同意,不向其支付报酬。

Article22. For the non-commercial purposes of work conducted in classroom education, scientific research, the execution of legal duties by state organs, etc., a small number of software reproductions may be made, without obtaining the consent of the software copyright owner or his legal transferee, and without giving compensation.


However, when used, the name of the software and its developer must be stated, and none of the rights enjoyed by the copyright owners or their transferees under the terms of these regulations shall be violated.


After the use of these copies if ended, they should be appropriately managed, taken back, or destroyed. They must not be used for other purposes or given to other persons.

 第三章  计算机软件的登记管理

Chapter III   Computer Software Registration Administration

第二十三条  在本条例发布以后发表的软件,可向软件登记管理机构办理登记申请,登记获准之后,由软件登记管理机构发放登记证明文件,并向社会公告。

Article23. Software published after these regulations are promulgated may make application for registration at the copyright registration administration organization. After approval of registration, the Software Registration Administration Organization will issue documents of proof of registration and make public notice (of the registration).

第二十四条  向软件登记管理机构办理软件著作权的登记,是根据本条例提出软件权利纠纷行政处理或者诉讼的前提。

Article24. Registration of software copyrights with the software registration administration organization in accordance with these regulations is the prerequisite for administrative treatment of rights disputes or of lawsuits.


Documents of proof of registration issued by the Software Registration Administration Organization are the initial documents certifying that a software copyright is in effect or is in the process of applying for registration.

第二十五条  软件著作权人申请登记时应当提交:

Article25. When applying for registration computer software copyright holders must provide:


(1) A software copyright registration form filled out in accordance with the regulations;


(2) Software identifying material in keeping with the rules.


Software copyright holders must pay a registration fee according to the rules.


Specific software registration administration methods and fee standards will b e announced by the Software Registration Administration Organization.

第二十六条  软件著作权的登记具有下列情况之一的,可以被撤销:

Article26. Software copyright may be cancelled in either of the following situations:


(1) According to final judicial judgement;


(2) When primary information provided during the registration application is acknowledged not to be authentic.

第二十七条  凡已办理登记的软件,在软件权利发生转让活动时,受让方应当在转让合同正式签订后三个月之内向软件登记管理机构备案,否则不能对抗第三者的侵权活动。

Article27. For any computer software which has already been registered, when activities relating to transfer of software rights occur, the receiver should put on record with the National Software Registration Administration Organization within 3 months of the signing of the contract of transfer, otherwise infringement activities by third parties cannot be contested.

第二十八条  中国籍的软件著作权人将其在中国境内开发的软件的权利向外国人许可或者转让时,应当报请国务院有关主管部门批准并向软件登记管理机构备案。

Article28. When a Chinese national software copyright owner licenses or transfers to a foreigner rights to software developed within China's territory, he shall first make a request for approval to the relevant responsible organs of the State Council and also make a report to the Software Registration Administration Organization.

第二十九条  从事软件登记的工作人员,以及曾在此职位上工作过的人员,在软件著作权的保护期内,除为了执行这项登记管理职务的目的之外,不得利用或者向他人透露申请者登记时提交的存档材料及有关情况。

Article29. Other than to carry out registration administration responsibilities, employees who work in software registration and persons who have previously worked in this position, may not, during the period of protection of a software copyright, utilize or reveal to any other person the file material or other relevant information provided at the time of the application for registration.

第四章  法律责任

Chapter IV   Legal Responsibilities

第三十条  除本条例第二十一条及第二十二条规定的情况外,有下列侵权行为的,应当根据情况,承担停止侵害、消除影响、公开赔礼道歉、赔偿损失等民事责任,并可以由国家软件著作权行政管理部门给予没收非法所得、罚款等行政处罚:

Article30. Except for the situations described in Articles 21 and 22, in the event of the following infringing activities, according to conditions cessation of the infringement, elimination of the effects, public apology, compensation for losses and other civil responsibilities should be undertaken; moreover, state software copyright executive administration departments may adopt executive punishments such as confiscating unearned illegal income, fines, etc.:


(1) Publishing software works without the consent of the software copyright ow ner;


(2) Taking software developed by others and publishing it in one's own name;


(3) Taking software developed in cooperation with another person and publishin g it as a work completed by oneself alone, without the permission of the cooperating developer;


(4) Signing one's name to software developed by another person or altering the signature on software developed by another;


(5) Revising, translating, or annotating software without the permission of the software copyright owner or his legal transferee;


(6) Copying software, in whole or in part, without the permission of the software copyright owner or his legal transferee;


(7) Disseminating or revealing software. to the public without the permission of the software copyright owner or his legal transferee;


(8) Effecting the licensing or transfer of software to a third party without the permission of the software copyright owner or his legal transferee.

第三十一条  因下列情况之一而引起的所开发的软件与已经存在的软件相似,不构成对已经存在的软件的著作权的侵犯:

Article31. Resulting similarities between software developed and software already in existence does not constitute a violation of the copyright of existing software in the following situations:


(1) Because it is necessary for the execution of national policies, laws, and rules and regulations;


(2) Because it is necessary for the setting of technical standards;


(3) Because of the limited categories of forms of expression.

第三十二条  软件持有者不知道或者没有合理的依据知道该软件是侵权物品,其侵权责任由该侵权软件的提供者承担。

Article32. If a software owner is unaware that or has no reasonable basis to believe that the software infringes on a software product right, the responsibility for the violation shall be borne by the rights violator who provided the software.


However, when failure to destroy the infringed software will not adequately protect the rights and interests of the software copyright owner, the owner has a duty to destroy the infringing software, so that losses may be forced back onto the provider of the infringing software.


The provider of infringing software cited in the previous provision is a person who knows the software is an infringement and supplies it to others.

第三十三条  当事人不履行合同义务或者履行合同义务不符合约定条件的,应当依照民法通则有关规定承担民事责任。

Article33. A concerned party who does not carry out his duty or who carries it out not in accordance with prescribed conditions shall bear civil responsibilities according to the General Procedures of the Civil Law.

第三十四条  软件著作权侵权纠纷可以调解,调解不成或者调解达成协议后一方反悔的,可以向人民法院起诉。当事人不愿调解的,也可以直接向人民法院起诉。

Article34. Software copyright disputes may be mediated. If mediation fails to produce an agreement, or if it produces agreement which one party fails to honor, a lawsuit may be brought before a People's Court. A concerned party who is unwilling to enter mediation may also bring a lawsuit before a People's Court.

第三十五条  软件著作权合同纠纷可以调解,也可以依据合同中的仲裁条款或者事后达成的书面仲裁协议,向国家软件著作权仲裁机构申请仲裁。

Article35. A software copyright contract dispute may be mediated. It may also be applied for mediation by the state software copyright arbitration organization, on the basis of an arbitration provision in the contract or a written arbitration agreement concluded after the contract.


Concerned parties will carry out an arbitration ruling. If one party fails to carry out the arbitration ruling, the other may bring a lawsuit before a People's Court.


If the People's Court receiving the application discovers that the arbitration ruling is illegal, it has the power not to execute the ruling.


If the People's Court does not carry out the ruling, concerns parties may bring a lawsuit before the People's Court.


If concerned parties have not inserted an arbitration clause into the contract, and there is no written arbitration agreement after the event, they may bring a lawsuit directly before the People's Court.

第三十六条  当事人如对国家软件著作权行政管理部门的行政处罚不服的,可以在自收到通知之日起三个月内向人民法院起诉。

Article36. If a concerned party is dissatisfied with the remedial decisions of the national copyright executive administrative department, he may bring suit before the People's Court within 3 months from receipt of notice.


When this period has expired and no lawsuit has been brought, the national copyright executive administrative department may apply to the People's Court to force action.

第三十七条  软件登记管理机构工作人员违反本条例第二十九条规定的,由软件登记管理机构或者上级主管部门给予行政处分;情节严重、构成犯罪的,由司法机关依法追究刑事责任。

Article37. Software registration administration organizations will assess administrative punishment against employees of software registration administration organizations who have violated Article 29 of these regulations. If the circumstances are severe, constituting a crime, judicial organs are responsible for investigating the crime.

第五章  附  则

Chapter V   Supplementary Articles

第三十八条  本条例施行前发生的侵权行为,依照侵权行为发生时的有关规定处理。

Article38. Infringement actions which take place prior to these regulations taking effect should be dealt with in accordance with regulations in effect at the time of the infringing activity.

第三十九条  本条例由国务院主管软件登记管理和软件著作权的行政管理部门负责解释。

Article39. These regulations will be interpreted by the State Council's department for software registration administration and software copyright administration departments.

第四十条  本条例自一九九一年十月一日起施行。

Article40. These provisions take effect from October 1, 1991.