Date: 18th July 2003

China's video pirates under attack

Three major US film studios have taken three Chinese companies to court for the alleged sale of pirated videos and DVDs, Chinese state press has reported.
The lawsuit is thought to be the first action of its kind in Shanghai, and is seen as a sign that the film giants are toughening up their crackdown against piracy in China.

The videos and DVDs allegedly pirated include Fox Entertainment's X Files series and Moulin Rouge film, Walt Disney's A Bug's Life and Universal Studio's Jurassic Park.

A lawyer representing the Western film giants said that his clients had sent staff to the selling outlets of the three defendants and bought pirated copies of their films.

The firms are seeking a public apology, financial compensation and a halt to the widespread practice of illegally copying films.

"With China's entry to the World Trade Organization, the protection of intellectual property rights must be enhanced," Yang Jun, a lawyer representing the film companies was reported as saying in the Shanghai Daily.

"If piracy is not properly combated, it could hamper the further introduction of good films from abroad and influence the development of the market," Mr Yang said.

The case was reported to have been heard in a Shanghai courtroom last week.

Source: Press Release