Fourteen Chinese organizations, individuals and works, including Red Sorghum, a novel by Nobel literature laureate Mo Yan, won the World Intellectual Property Creativity Award on June 11.
Launched in 2001, the award rewards those who excel at copyright creation, application and protection.
The winners were selected by the World Intellectual Property Organization and the copyright administrations in each of the more than 70 countries taking part.
Winner Zhang Kangkang, 64, said on the sidelines of the awards ceremony in Xiamen, Fujian province: “Growing up in the era of common ownership, the writers of my generation used to think their works were not owned by themselves but the public.
“But rights consciousness has been growing and young writers are now good at protecting their interests.”
Zhang is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference－the country’s top political advisory body－and vice-president of the Chinese Writers’ Association. The writer has been one of the most vocal campaigners for copyright protection.
Zhang said the interests of her peers are now much better protected, but loopholes remain widespread.
“There has been a crackdown on the production of pirate books, but they are still not too hard to find. Pirated electronic versions are also increasing,” said Zhang, who won the WIPO Certificate of Merit for her dedication to copyright protection.
Apart from Red Sorghum, five other works won the Award for Creativity, including A Bite of China I, a China Central Television documentary on the history of Chinese food and cooking.
Another award went to the Four Classic Works Series published by Tianjin Creator World Comic Co Ltd, which has sold 6 million copies in nine languages and has been well received overseas.
Wang Binying, deputy director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organization, said at the awards ceremony: “China has achieved substantial progress in terms of copyright protection－well-evidenced by the award-winning works.
“The Chinese government has taken great measures, but public awareness has not kept pace with change.”
Yu Cike, a senior official at the National Copyright Administration, said its priorities now would be to protect the copyright of musical works online and copyright issues relating to cloud services and mobile apps.
Yan Xiaohong, vice-director of the administration, said more than 64,700 copyright cases had been resolved at various levels from 2005 to 2013 and more than 439 million pirated works had been confiscated.
“But disclosure information is not sufficient,” Yan said.