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Chinese company to sue Japanese TV station for copyright violation|
August 20, 2007
A Chinese media company is suing Japanese TV station SKY PerfecTV for unauthorized broadcast of a drama series, and claiming 2.6 million U.S. dollars in damages.
Beijing-based Chi Dong Culture Media Ltd. was alleging intellectual property rights (IPR) violation, its lawyer Feng Quanfu told Xinhua on Monday.
Chi Dong, copyright owner of the TV series "The Lettuce", accused the Japanese station of unauthorized broadcast of the drama in a suit filed at a court in Tokyo, said Feng.
The lawsuit was the first of its kind concerning IPR violation of a TV series, said Chi Dong manager Zhang Xiaofang, who also cited a SKY PerfecTV program list, alleging it illegally aired around 500 Chinese TV dramas from 2003 to 2006.
The list included some of China's most popular and profitable TV dramas such as "Princess Pearl", "In the Passionate Days", "Never In Peace" and "My Own Swordsman".
Zhang said SKY PerfecTV's illegal broadcast of "The Lettuce" could be traced back to 2005, when its 785 channel aired the drama, apparently disregarding a warning letter from Chi Dong.
The company later appealed to a Tokyo court, but the TV station took no action after the court ordered an end to the infringement.
"It isn't rare to see Chinese TV series being illegally broadcast abroad," said Zheng Shengli, a Beijing University professor specializing in IPR protection. "But most Chinese copyright-owners lack the sense of IPR protection, fear high legal costs and are unfamiliar with foreign legal procedure."
Chinese companies needed to lodge joint lawsuits against foreign violators to share costs and increase the chances of winning their cases, Zheng said.