Extras - Book Review: Guide to China Copyright Law Studies by Robert Haibin Hu

Joan Liu is the Head of Acquisitions & Serials and Research Liaison on Chinese Law, New York University Law School Library, New York.

Hein’s Chinese Law Series, aiming to provide the most up to date legal information on the People’s Republic of China to the U.S. legal community, has released a research guide consisting of 4 volumes. The first 3 volumes are: The 1997 Criminal Code of the People’s Republic of China with English Translation and Introduction (1998), The Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China with English Translation and Introduction (1999), and The Amended Criminal Procedure Law and Criminal Court Rules of the People’s Republic of China (2000).  All three volumes are composed by Wei Luo, a prominent Chinese legal information specialist, and Associate Law Librarian at Washington University Law Library.

Volume 4, Guide to China Copyright Law Studies, is a valuable addition to this series. Robert Hu arranges the guide into five chapters: the Chinese Copyright Legal System; Resources for the Copyright Researchers; United States and Chinese Copyright Protection; Keeping Up with Development in the Law; and Selected Bibliography. It also contains appendices for the Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China and the regulation for implementation of the law in both the vernacular and English.

The guide is deployed with detailed analyses and bibliographical instruction. In Chapter 1, Hu sketches a clear and terse outline of the Chinese copyright legal system, describing it from the perspectives of legislation, administration, and judicial institutions. He then amasses a commensurate number of resources on Chinese copyright law in Chapter 2. The listed sources are wide-ranging and include primary and secondary resources, doctrines and case reports, traditional and electronic sources, domestic and international materials, and also research and practitioner oriented information. All of the resources introduced in this chapter are annotated. In Chapter 3, Hu then summarizes the efforts of the US government, the legislative body, and various scholarly activities to the development of Chinese copyright law. He also briefly lists the sources for the current awareness in Chapter 4. In Chapter 5, he compiles a selective bibliography to facilitate research on this issue by others.

Because of the incremental infringement of copyright, especially to American intellectual works such as books, films, and multi media materials in China, the theme of copyright protection, along with other intellectual property issues, has become a vital aspect in the scheme of the Chinese legal system. At the same time, the insufficiency of information on copyright law in China further hinders the depth of possible research by US legal professionals. Therefore, Hu’s guide offers a unique tool to anyone who is working in this field.

Robert Hu currently works at Texas Tech University School of Law Library as Head of Public Services. He is trained in both Chinese and American law. With his language capability, knowledge of substantive law, and expertise on legal information, he is able to both master the topic and offer inclusive research instruction in his guide.

(Guide to China Copyright Law Studies. Robert Haibin Hu. 2000. William S. Hein & Co., Inc. Hardcover. xiv, 103 p. ISBN: 1-57588-630-8. 1v. $62)