Collective Management Organizations in China: Practice, Problems and Possible Solutions



Collective management organizations (CMOs) in China have been in a rapid development and made a great progress in the past 20 years. Yet, there remain a number of issues that should be addressed. This note surveys the current practice of Chinese CMOs and, a number of important issues, and suggests possible solutions to ameliorate the situation. The first issue, namely, the relation between CMOs and their members, is particularly visible in the issue of CMO's standing to sue. The second issue, namely relations with nonmembers, has caused a recent litigation explosion against users of collective managed works. The third issue, the abuse of monopoly position, is mainly a sign of the need for an appropriate regulatory regime for CMOs. It is important for China to draw on the successful experience and learn lessons from the best CMOs and regulatory models in other countries. Because of the relatively short history of collective management in China, the improvement of CMOs will likely be a gradual institutional process characteristic by bold experiments, as when making one's way across a deep river.