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Copyright holder wins Chinese music lawsuit

22 Jun 2006 - Reuters
  HONG KONG, June 22 (Reuters) - A Beijing court has ordered China.com Inc. (8006.HK:Quote,Profile,Research) to stop offering ringtones and related products in violation of copyrights, as China seeks to show it can enforce copyright laws.

  China.com, 77 percent owned by CDC Corp. (CHINA.O:Quote,Profile,Research), was also fined 50,000 yuan ($6,253) as compensation to R2G, a music copyright licensor, for illegally using ringtones and related products derived from 18 songs by popular Taiwanese singer Jay Chou, R2G said in a statement.

  The court handed down its ruling on Monday, R2G said.

  BMG Music Publishing ( Asia ) has awarded R2G with exclusive music publishing distribution rights for all of Jay Chou's titles for ringtones and related products in China .

  A spokeswoman from China.com was not immediately available for comment.

  "This is a positive showcase in the fight against digital piracy. And this is also the first successfully concluded lawsuit where compensation has been awarded for the violation of music publishing rights," R2G CEO Wu Jun said in the statement.

  China.com is one of the four companies that R2G has taken action against on behalf of BMG last November for offering ringtone services without authorisation, it added.

  China is trying to protect intellectual property rights in a country where pirated music, movies and software are available on virtually every street corner for just a few dollars each.

  The film and music industries have been pushing for a crackdown on piracy, one of their largest costs.

  Last year, a Beijing court ordered Chinese Internet search leader Baidu.com Inc. (BIDU.O:Quote,Profile,Research) to stop directing users to music download sites. Baidu said at the time that it planned to appeal the decision. ($1=7.996 Yuan)


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