Beijing No 1 Intermediate Court ruled that China's leading Internet content provider, Sina.com, violated copyright law by publishing the work of a sports writer exclusive to their major rival.
Sina.com agreed to pay 2,000 yuan (US$240) in compensation to the prosecutor, writer Qian Kun, and publish apologies to the writer on Sina.com's sports channel for seven days.
The two sides reached an agreement on Wednesday under the mediation of the presiding court, Beijing Times reported.
Qian filed an action against Sina.com in April, stating Sina has published Qian's article "without asking for approval and failed to pay the author's remuneration.''
Sohu.com, Sina's rival, publicized "proof of Sina's plagiarism'' early this year.
The court heard how Qian provided an exclusive piece of work to Sohu.com's sports channel, used in January.
Sohu pronounced, only one day later, Sina used the same report, word for word. The only evidence of change was the headline, according to Sohu.com.
Sina and Sohu have consistently argued about plagiarism and copyright violation throughout the year, accusing each other of breaking the law in both respects.
Another lawsuit involved Sina.com accusing Sohu.com of stealing cartoons and news content.
The latest case is the third confrontation since April between the two Internet companies, which both have NASDAQ listings in the United States. In April, they quarrelled about which one was the official news partner of the Chinese football team during the World Cup in South Korea and Japan.
(China Daily July 22, 2002)