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Copyright and Fair Use at XJTLU Library

Purpose of the Guide

The purpose is to set out the terms and conditions for using library’s resources in order to protect staff and students of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (hereinafter referred to as ‘the University’) from violating the law and to help them carry out teaching, learning and researching activities under the permission of copyright owners or other representatives. Copyright and fair use are complex concepts and this guide cannot cover all the finer points of them. You can refer to some further readings for additional help.

Key Concepts of Copyright

What is copyright?

Copyright can be defined as the exclusive and assignable legal right entitled to the copyright owner for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, dramatic or musical material. Anything that is written, printed, recorded or produced in any forms is subject to copyright. Copyright covers printed and electronic material, illustrations, films, recorded music, computer software and all the other intellectual property.

According to the copyright regulations in China, copyright is a mixed type of legal right combining personal rights and property rights. It is not fixed but developing with the advancement of the society. 


Term of Protection

Copyright provides protection for a material for a specific period of time. The material is considered to be open content beyond this specific time period.

According to the Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China,

  1. The term of protection of the rights of authorship, alteration, and integrity of an author shall be unlimited.
  2. The term of protection of the right of publication, the right of exploitation and the right to remuneration in respect of a work of a citizen shall be the life time of the author and fifty years after his death, expiring on December 31 of the fiftieth year after his death. In the case of a work of joint authorship, such term shall expire on December 31 of the fiftieth year after the death of the last surviving author.
  3. The term of protection of the right of publication, the right of exploitation and the right to remuneration in respect of a work where the copyright belongs to a legal person or entity without legal personality, or in respect of a work created in the course of employment where the legal person or entity without legal personality enjoys the copyright (except the right of authorship), shall be fifty years, expiring on December 31 of the fiftieth year after the first publication of such work, provided that any such work that has not been published within fifty years after the completion of its creation shall no longer be protected under the Law.
  4. The term of protection of the right of publication, the right of exploitation and the right to remuneration in respect of a cinematographic, television, video-graphic or photographic work shall be fifty years, expiring on December 31 of the fiftieth year after the first publication of such work, provided that any such work that has not been published within fifty years after the completion of its creation shall no longer be protected under the Law.