The lawsuit concerning the copyright infringement of Li Zicheng, a historical Chinese novel, has been wound up through mediation at the Chaoyang District People's Court in Beijing.
It is reported that the Liaoning Fine Arts Publishing House published a picture-story book of Li Zicheng based on the novel without the permission of the son and heir of the writer.
According to an agreement reached by the plaintiffs and defendants, the Liaoning Fine Arts Publishing House will make an open apology to Wang Meicai, widow of Yao Xueyin, the writer of Li Zicheng, and four others involved, pay them 30,000 yuan (US$ 3,629.11) as compensation and cover the charges for the case.
The Book Center of the Beijing-based Yiwen Cultural Development Corporation has been ordered to immediately stop selling the picture-story book Li Zicheng published by the Liaoning Fine Arts Publishing House.
The Liaoning Fine Arts Publishing House admitted the act of infringement, apologized to the plaintiffs in court and agreed to pay the compensation and the lawsuit charges. The Book Center of the Beijing-based Yiwen Cultural Development Corporation said it had already stopped sales of the book.
Earlier, Yao Haitian, the son of Yao Xueyin, reached an agreement with the Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House and Beijing Xinhua Book Co. Ltd concerning copyright infringement.
The two defendants apologized to the copyright holder in writing, and paid 80,000 yuan (US$ 10,000) in compensation to the plaintiff.
Then, Yao permitted the Shanghai-based publishing house to continue selling the remaining 8,000 copies of the book, which had been removed from the shelves when the plaintiff started the lawsuit.
The novel, based on the true story of a farmers' uprising against the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) led by Li Zicheng, attracted lots of domestic and overseas readers when it was first published in the 1970s.
(People’s Daily February 24, 2002)