English translation below.
I’ve done some research on Chinese copyright law with the purpose of learning the copyright term of movies produced in China. Having searched for a long time without results I finally sent an email to the Creative Commons China mailing list asking my question. They referred me to an English translation of the Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China. Here’s what I found: (Article 21)
The term of protection for the right of publication or protection for the right of publication or the rights referred to in Article 10, paragraphs (5) to (17), of this Law in respect of a cinematographic work, a work created by virtue of an analogous method of film production or a photographic work shall be fifty years, and expires on 31 December of the fiftieth year after the first publication of such work, provided that any such work that has not been published within fifty years after the completion of its creation shall no longer be protected under this Law.
This means that movies made before 1957 can now be freely distributed. I’ve already uploaded the 1941 animated film Princess Iron Fan to archive.org and hope to be able to make more old movies available in the future.
I am currently working on English subtitles for Princess Iron Fan. All help is appreciated!