Popular TV Performance Triggers Copyright Issue

Popular TV Performance Triggers Copyright Issue


A recent dance - the Thousand-Hand Guanyin performed by the Chinese actress Guan Xiaotong at a Zhejiang Television show - has been caught in an intellectual property dispute, provoking a public discussion about IP protection in China's film and television industry. At a popular competitive reality show aired on Zhejiang Television on February 15, Guan performed the classic dance, together with the Heart Voice Disabled People's Art Troupe from Beijing. One hour after the performance, the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe made an announcement in the wake of infringement on its copyright for Thousand-Hand Guanyin and emphasized that the dance was directed by Zhang Jigang, a well-known Chinese choreographer, not Mao Difang, who appeared in the subtitles on the screen. The next day, Zhejiang Television apologized to the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe and explained it is Zhang who created the dance; Mao was simply responsible for the rehearsal. In 2006, Mao filed a copyright complaint with the Haidian District People's Court, claiming that the smash hit dance constituted "substantial similarity" with a dance she created before. The court rejected plaintiff Mao's request. It recognized the copyright registration certificates concerning Thousand-Hand Guanyin, which were granted to the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe in 2005, as key evidence. They showed Zhang Jigang as the creator and the troupe as the copyright owner.

Source: China Daily

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