MUMBAI: A Shanghai court has ruled that the Shanghai Le Ying AV Products Company DVD retail outlet, located in Shanghai’s central business district, guilty of copyright infringement.
The company has been found selling pirated versions of Motion Picture Association (MPA) member company movies. According to an official release, the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court has ordered the company to pay the MPA member companies damages and costs amounting to RMB25,000 ($3,230).
The MPA had, in September 2006, filed 20 civil complaints against three pirate movie retail outlets known collectively as Ka De Club shops in Shanghai. The rulings delivered on 6 March 2007 disposed of three of seven complaints against Shanghai Le Ying, a Ka De Club company.
The other four complaints against Shanghai Le Ying are scheduled to be heard on 29 March 2007.
“The MPA is undeniably pleased that Shanghai Le Ying has been judged to have infringed our member companies’ copyrights, and that the Court is supporting the government’s effort to educate people that that there is a price to pay for copyright infringement, and that respect for copyright is important,” MPA Vice President and Regional Legal Counsel, Asia-Pacific Frank Rittman said. “However, the Shanghai Le Ying AV Products Company and its sister companies have repeatedly demonstrated contempt for China’s laws through the unauthorized and unlawful sale of MPA member company movies, and we are disappointed at the paltry amounts of the awards, which amount only to a negligible cost of doing business for these criminals.”
The MPA has concluded more than 15 civil actions in China, all of which have been all settled or judged in favour of the MPA member company plaintiffs. There are more than 35 other cases pending.