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Application copyright registration procedure in China

Before you can upload any application to the application store as a developer, you must have the application’s copyright certificate. In this article we will take a look at the whole process of getting such a certificate and specify the main theoretical aspects.

   The object of copyright in PRC is the specific version of an application’s source code. Specifically, this means that your certificate will contain the application’s complete and short names, and version of the source code. This information has nothing to do with the application’s current version, meaning that you are allowed to upload a 21.0.0 version of an application to the application store, while having a 1.0.7 version certificate. But if you plan to have a major update for the application that will change more than 30% of the source code, then you will have to update your certificate to a higher version as well. The full name of such a certificate is “计算机软件著作权登记证书”(Computer software copyright registration certificate) Let’s take a closer look on that certificate:

Original certificate of an application copyright ownership


– 证书号 – Certificate number

– 软件名称 – Name of the application, complete one and short one. The name should end with “应用软件”(for software application) or “游戏软件” (for game application)

– Numbers below is the application’s source code version

– 著作权人 – Copyright owner

– 开发完成日期 – Date of the application development completion

– 首次发表日期 – Date of the first publication (certificate in the picture is noted as “not published”)

– 权利取得方式 – Method of receiving the copyright. Certificate in the picture has a note “primary acquisition”, but other cases may have “assignment”, “sale”, “adjudication” and other notes.

– 权利范围 – Limitation of rights, either of full rights, rights limited to use only, and so on.

Copyright certificate solely for Android version of the game.

   So, what is required to obtain such a certificate? Not much actually, the list of documents is very short and is given below. One more thing to know is that the PRC Copyright Administration doesn’t work directly with the developers, formulation of the needed documents is only possible through accredited agencies in your city, the list of agencies can be found on the Administration’s website. So, let’s take a look on the list of documents needed:

– Application form, which indicates the name, version, developer’s name and all other basic information

– A copy with a seal of your business license

– A copy of your company’s business license with your company’s stamp on it.

– 5000 lines of the application code from the start and 5000 lines from the end (if the application code takes less space, then the code is provided completely)

– A document that has the application description

   Probably first 3 documents will not raise any questions and are pretty clear to the reader, but the 4th one with the application description deserves a more detailed explanation. The document should include the following information:

– Introduction, that should include a brief and a full description of your product, product’s background, its novelty.

– Description of the tasks performed by the application and its technical specifications. Operating system and its versions, installation requirements, required plugins, etc. The process of interaction with the application in the form of a scheme, branches of the application’s possible behavior, required actions from the user and reaction to such actions. If necessary – the plot of the game, the main characters, system of skills and development, so on and so forth, all the various modes and formats of application’s work.

– Application structure. Server side –  client side application scheme, application’s interface and data structures.

– Screenshots containing all active interfaces of the application with notes describing all active elements

   Basically, that’ll be all. You shouldn’t face any difficulty in the future after all the documents are prepared. All you do is send the documents to your agent, sign an agreement, pay the fees and after some time you will receive your original certificate. In the future, on the basis of that paper certificate you can receive an electronic one, they are actively popularized among citizens nowadays, but there is still a long way to go to see a total refusal of paper certificates. By the way, this is another story for another article.

   Approximate prices depend on time of the registration. Urgent registration during one working day will cost you about 5 000 dollars, while super slow one that takes 30 working days is just about 100 dollars. Time constraints between these two may vary, best option would be 7 days for 300 dollars.

Good luck with registering your certificate!

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