Can Chinese Movies Be Downloaded Legally?


Quick Answer

To avoid copyright infringement, consumers can download Chinese movies legally only from authorized Internet services that make them available for purchase, reports the U.S. Copyright Office. This applies to movies made in China, as China is a member of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, notes the World Intellectual Property Organization. It also applies to Taiwan, as Taiwan abides by the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights agreement, notes the World Trade Organization.

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Full Answer

Federal copyright law protects all artistic works, including movies, in any language as soon as artists create them, according to the U.S. Copyright Office. Unless filmmakers clearly indicate that they give permission to consumers to copy their films, they can sue people who make unauthorized downloads of their films for copyright infringement. By law, courts can award copyright owners from $30,000 to $150,000 for each infringed item as of 2016. People that courts find guilty of illegally downloading films may also have to pay legal fees for the copyright owners.

The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works states that member countries must protect the copyrighted works of their members as if the copyrights belong to their own nationals, points out the World Intellectual Property Organization. Because the United States and China are both member states, they protect the copyrighted works of one another. The Trade-Related Aspects of International Property Rights agreement stipulates that the obligations of the Berne Convention and other international copyright agreements also apply to WTO members, explains the World Trade Organization. The United States, China and Taiwan, as Chinese Taipei, are all members of the World Trade Organization.

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