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State-linked film production group sues Apple for copyright infringement

Post Time:2016-07-04 Source:Global Times Author:Zhao Yusha Views:

A film production center associated with China's media watchdog has filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc and a mobile application developer for alleged copyright infringement, according to a statement issued by a court in Beijing's Haidian district on Thursday.

The statement said that the production center - an affiliate of China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television - accused Apple and Heyi, a Beijing-based technology company that developed a mobile application for popular Chinese video hosting website Youku, of violating its exclusive right to broadcast the film Xuebo Dixiao online.

The production center claimed Apple allows its users to watch and download the film through the "Youku HD" application, causing huge economic losses to the center, for which it has demanded 50,000 yuan ($7,527) in compensation.

The application "Youku HD" can be downloaded from the App Store and used on iPhones and iPads.

Youku and Apple were unable to be reached for comment as of press time.

"In this case, the application company has infringed the copyright, but whether Apple violated rights remains to be seen," Xu Xinming, a Beijing-based lawyer specializing in intellectual property rights, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"Apple, as a platform, is responsible for reviewing the qualifications of the applications in its Apple store," said Xu.

Xu also said that Apple should require video app developers to provide legal documentation to prove the legitimacy of their rights to screen videos.

China has launched a number of recent nationwide campaigns against piracy. In 2015, the National Copyright Administration (NCA), the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Public Security jointly launched "Sword Net 2015," which targets infringement and piracy by media networks.

As part of "Sword Net 2015," the NCA said in a statement in July 2015 that online streaming services must stop providing unlicensed music to users. Service providers were given one month to remove any unlicensed music.