Folklore in China is disappearing and facing challenges for its very survival. To salvage folklore in China, some have called for immediate legislative action and proposed the law of copyright or sui generis protection as some potential solutions. However, copyright is traditionally concerned with the creations of individuals rather than the cumulative creations of an ethnic group or region. Furthermore, even sui generis protection, which is better adapted to folklore in theory, could be susceptible in practice to the abuses of private monopolies or state tyranny. Overall, the protection of folklore depends more on a consistent governmental policy of open-mindedness toward its use and dissemination than on any piece of legislation.
Deming Liu, Can Copyright Lend Its Cinderellaic Magic To Chinese Folklore?, 5 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 203 (2006)