China is one of the most difficult markets in the world for copyright owners. Illegal distribution networks are well established and consumers are used to content that is either free or very cheap. China’s legal system is still in the process of developing and the Chinese gov-ernment regularly fails to enforce its own IP legislation. As a result, translating formal rights into royalty payments is extremely tough. This article, which is based in part on interviews by the author, describes the present communication infrastructure, social habits, and the copyright environment in mainland China. Against this background the potential role of DRM systems and innovative business models is discussed
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