MPA companies sue China’s P2P network


MUMBAI: The Motion Picture Association’s (MPA) six member companies have filed civil complaints in the Shanghai Pudong District Court against Shenzhen Xunlei Networking Technology (Xunlei), a popular peer-to-peer file sharing network operator, alleging copyright infringement and seeking total damages and legal costs in excess of RMB 7 million.


The plaintiffs also seek a public acknowledgement of the infringements and Xunlei’s pledge to refrain from future infringements.


Xunlei operates and makes available a software application that facilitates the unauthorized peer-to-peer transmissions of hundreds of MPA member company titles. This application provides search and linking services and is used in conjunction with the software to stream and/or download films hosted on various systems spread across the internet. Counsel for MPA sent 78 separate notices of infringement to Xunlei over a five week period before initiating the litigation.


Among the 32 MPA member companies titles included in the complaints were Spiderman 3, War of the Worlds and the Miami Vice.


“These actions demonstrate that copyright holders can and will vigorously defend their property by any legal means, including redress before the courts where necessary,” said MPA vice president, deputy regional director and regional legal counsel, Asia-Pacific Frank Rittman. “P2P piracy is a huge problem in China, which if left unattended, will threaten the continued development of legitimate online services supported by copyright owners.”


“We have been encouraged by the Chinese Government time and again to use their courts to defend our members’ rights, and by doing so we are demonstrating our continued faith in the sovereignty of the judicial process in China.”


The MPA and its member companies maintain active litigation programs in many countries aimed at defending member companies’ copyrights against unauthorized and illegal infringement. Since 2006 in China alone, the MPA has successfully concluded 42 complaints involving 135 counts of infringement resulting in damages and cost awards in excess of RMB 2 million.