English translation below.
I’ve done some research on Chinese copyright law with the purpose of learning the copyright term of movies produced in China. Having searched for a long time without results I finally sent an email to the Creative Commons China mailing list asking my question. They referred me to an English translation of the Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China. Here’s what I found: (Article 21)
The term of protection for the right of publication or protection for the right of publication or the rights referred to in Article 10, paragraphs (5) to (17), of this Law in respect of a cinematographic work, a work created by virtue of an analogous method of film production or a photographic work shall be fifty years, and expires on 31 December 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 this Law.
This means that movies made before 1957 can now be freely distributed. I’ve already uploaded the 1941 animated film Princess Iron Fan to archive.org and hope to be able to make more old movies available in the future.
I am currently working on English subtitles for Princess Iron Fan. All help is appreciated!
Sun Wukong in Princess Iron Fan
I discovered today that there’s actually a site speaking out in favor of the www prefix. However, the site with the prettiest URL clearly wins the debate:
http://no-www.org vs. http://www.yes-www.org
Notably, only one of the URLs below work:
http://www.no-www.org vs. http://yes-www.org
After 2 weeks in school I’ve changed classes twice and in the end only take 5 classes with a total of 18 hours per week. The main Chinese class has the greatest teacher ever, teacher Zhang (张老师). She’s a middle aged woman who dresses formally, wears a big smile and doesn’t waste a minute of class time with nonsense. There is only one teacher who is a bit vague in her teaching. She’s the same age as me so I guess it will work out with a few years of experience.
I’ve taken a closer look to find that the person on the North Korean’s badges is the Eternal President of the Republic, Kim Il-sung (i.e. the deceased father). Also, not all of the North Koreans are teachers. One studies automatic control, the stuff you need to make missiles hit their targets (when I studied it in Sweden the examples were often military aircrafts or similar). Actually, automatic control is used in lots of industrial processes, so there’s no need to jump to conclusions. If I were a bit less lame I would just ask him.
The Spring Festival is over and by now I’m almost certain that it’s some kind of mass psychosis. During all the 15 days of celebration there have been fireworks and yesterday the car alarms rang one last time to welcome the new year. I’ve heard that one person was killed and many others injured by fireworks during the festival.
Today classes started again. I’ve jumped up a level since last semester so things are a little different now. I have 2 mandatory courses and 4 selectable courses, in total 20 hours per week. I’ve only had one subject today, so I don’t know yet how things are going to be, but it seems that the level is OK anyway. One seriously cool thing is that I have no less than 5 North Koreans in my class. All of them are men over 40 and some or all of them are teachers. What’s more, all of them wear badges with the beloved leader Kim Jong-il (or maybe his dad, I haven’t looked closely). Given that North Koreans generally can’t leave their country I had never expected to see them in real life, much less talk to them. I’m not sure why but it’s kind of exciting!
My parents will soon be going home to Sweden, so today we made a last little trip. The destination was the small mountain village Chuandixia (川底下) which is two hours west of Beijing by car. In the morning I talked to one of the “freelance” taxi drivers outside of my gate, gave him a look at the map and asked how much he would want to take us there, wait three hours and then take us home. 260 RMB. We jumped in but not having travelled 100 meters he realized he didn’t really know how to get there and called another driver. We waited a while for the new guy to get out of bed and then switched car to his flashy new Volkswagen. He didn’t think 260 RMB sounded to good and wanted 300 RMB which was OK with us. Off we go!
The town is made up of a few hundred buildings thrown up on the foot of a mountain. Since the Ming dynasty this town has been so backwards and uninteresting the houses haven’t changed much at all. When someone discovered this they made the town into a living museum and began charging for entrance. Today both the inhabitants and the tourists were very few so it was quiter than any other place I’ve been to in China so far.
Some of the buildings are very worn down, but there are still many left in good shape.
It’s not only ancient architecture that has been preserved, slogans written on the walls in the Mao era are also left intact.
I’m not positive, but it means something like “Use Mao Zedong’s thought to arm ourselves.” If you know what 头脐 means, please leave me a comment! On the next wall was written “Workers of the world, unite!” Perhaps a lot of people associate this kind of thing with China, but this is actually the first time I’ve seen it in these six months. It seems that ideology isn’t very fashionable in the modern China.
On the way home our driver was complaining that 300 RMB was too little and that he hadn’t realized how far it was. This was probably partially true since the first guy we made the 260 RMB deal with told our second driver that it wasn’t very far, not taking much notice of the distance on the map. Taxi drivers (not just “freelance” drivers) occasionally (try to) trick me in different ways, but I figured 300 RMB was a bit on the low side and offered him 400 RMB. Suddenly he wanted 600 RMB which was plain ridiculous so I just said it was to expensive and we didn’t discuss it anymore. When we arrived back home he again started whining about the 400 RMB I gave him, so I began delivering the prepared “we already agreed on the price” speech. He interrupted me half way through at which point we just walked away. Haggling is very common in China, but trying to double an already negotiated price is just insulting.
Check out my Chuandixia flickr set for some more pictures.