The 88-year-old younger brother of China's last emperor Aisin Giorro Pu Yi (1906-1967) has lost a lawsuit in which he claimed copyright of the emperor's image.
The Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court, in its final verdict, ruled that from the last emperor to an ordinary citizen of new China, Aisin Giorro Pu Yi's life was closely connected with China's history.
As he was a public figure, the exhibitors had not infringed upon his image right in holding photo exhibitions of Pu Yi's life and political activities.
Pu Yi's brother Jin Youzhi, with the original name of Aisin Giorro Pu Ren, found in November last year that photos of Pu Yi were displayed at an exhibition for six years in the Forbidden City, the imperial residence in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.
He took the exhibitors to court, saying that the image rights of the deceased were severely violated, the immediate relatives were greatly hurt and his right to use Pu Yi's image was also infringed upon.
He had asked the exhibitors to stop the exhibitions, issue a statement of apology in at least five national newspapers, and pay the relevant legal costs.
One of the defendants, Wang Qingxiang, a research fellow with northeast China's Jilin Provincial Academy of Social Sciences, had questioned Jin's qualification as a plaintiff, citing evidence showing that Pu Yi was not the biological brother of Jin, who was adopted as the stepson of the Qing emperor in 1908.
Jin's case was rejected on July 14 at the first instance by the Beijing Dongcheng District People's Court and he then appealed to the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court.
In 1908, when Pu Yi was almost three years old, he ascended the imperial throne as the 10th ruler of the Qing Dynasty, the last dynasty of China's feudal system. Less than three years later, the 1911 Revolution against the Qing Dynasty broke out and Pu Yi was forced to abdicate.
After being expelled from Beijing's imperial palace in November 1924, Pu Yi and his family and entourage fled to Tianjin. Pu Yi died of illness in Beijing in 1967.
(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2006)