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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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Chapter IV Alternative Business Models of Digital Content Provision and Their Social Conditions


Arguably, TPMs are not the sole option for digital content providers to distribute their copyrighted information on the Internet. Technological development has provided many possibilities. In this chapter, I intend to compare the “TPMs & contract” model with the other three alternatives of digital content provision – the “levy system” model, the “device-centric” model, and the “cloud” model. I will illustrate their pros and cons concerning private use, and the social conditions each requires to be met in order for it to be effective. In the last section, I will examine the potential problems in the Chinese practice in seeking to reach these social conditions. 4.1 Four Alternative Business Models Currently, there are at least four alternative business models of digital content provision – the “TPMs & contract” model, the “levy system” model, the “device-centric” model, and the “cloud” model. Admittedly this is not an exclusive list. There are also other business models, such as Creative Commons’ CC license, and advertisement-based open-source businesses. Moreover, with the development of technological and economic conditions, new business models will undoubtedly come into being in the future. Without TPMs With TPMs Fig. 4.1: Business Models of Digital Content Providing Levy System Device-centric TPMs & Contract Cloud 208 Taking Private Use Seriously In order to make the issues more understandable, in this section, I try to provide a general description and some examples for each business model. In light of the fact that the “TPMs & contract” model has been discussed quite sufficiently in the previous chapters, my focus will here...

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