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Taking Private Use Seriously

A Critical Evaluation of the Legal Treatment of Private Use under Chinese Digital Copyright Law


Zhong Zheng

Private use is full of uncertainty both in theory and in application. Given the fact that the copying itself, whether in a private use context or a piracy context, is physically the same, it is very easy to confuse private copying with piracy. However, private use serves an important role not only relating to users’ fundamental rights such as free speech and the right of autonomy and privacy, but also in contributing to the creative process by fostering creativity-relevant human capital. This book critically evaluates the legal treatment of private use under Chinese digital copyright law, which provides overprotection for Technological Protection Measures (TPMs) and abandons the private use limitation on digital copyright. It also examines the underlying causes and possible solutions.


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It gives me great pleasure to thank all those whose generous support made the writing and publication of this book possible. The book draws on my Ph.D. dissertation which I defended at Kyushu University. Here, I would like to thank my supervisors professor Ryu KOJIMA and professor HAN Sang Hee, for their confidence in me and for their guidance in leading me to tackle this difficult topic, and especially their help in overcoming a bottleneck midway through the research. Professor KOJIMA enlightened me on a lot of things during “brainstorm” sessions and professor HAN constantly encouraged me to overcome my frustration at times. Without their support and trust, I could hardly have finished the research. Many thanks to professor Mark FENWICK, for his acute insights regarding the manuscript structure, and his great patience in reviewing my conference paper. I am grateful to professor Shinto TERAMOTO for teaching me about the social network methodology and the dichotomy between fact and assumption. I am also grateful to professor Steven Van UYTSEL who always offered me counterarguments urging me to include a comprehensive analysis, and corrected me about the citation format. In addition, I wish to thank all faculty members who provided me stimulating questions and helpful insights during the Comprehensive Research Seminars, especially professors Toshiyuki KONO, Shinichi AGO, Michiaki ABE, Caslav PEJOVIC, Mariko IGIMI-YASUTAKE, Machiko HACHIYA, and also Antonio FORMACION. Thanks to professors Peter DRAHOS, Peter K. YU, and Thomas HOEREN, for their valuable comments on my presentation at the 2010 conference...

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