Home / Government / Local Governments News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Gov't Bodies Sued over Copyright Infringement
Adjust font size:

The nation's first copyright lawsuit against governmental bodies has been filed in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province.

Beijing-based Sanmianxiang Copyright Agency is accusing two governmental organizations of infringing their copyrights.

Liao Xingcheng, a prolific writer on rural development in Hebei Province, signed a copyright transfer contract with the company two years ago for several of his published articles.

But Sanmianxiang found in December 2004 that Jiangsu Provincial State Taxation Bureau and the Agriculture and Forestry Bureau used two of Liao's articles on their official websites, without paying any money to the agency or even identifying Liao as the author.

After initial negotiations failed, Sanmianxiang listed the two governmental bodies in a lawsuit to Nanjing Intermediate People's Court on Monday, demanding they stop publishing the articles and also deliver a public apology on their websites.

The agency also wants 6,000 yuan (US$750) compensation from each bureau, which includes their notary fees and lawyer's payments.

According to Zhou Jiejing, a lawyer representing Sanmianxiang, the company originally targeted 106 governmental bodies from both Jiangsu and Anhui provinces last year, accusing them of infringing their copyrights.

Fifteen bureaux in Jiangsu have since agreed to pay the copyright fees and apologize publicly.

But dozens of other bureaux are still insisting they have done nothing wrong.

"We are using the articles for public welfare. We are not commercial websites," said a worker surnamed Wang, from Jiangsu Provincial State Taxation Bureau.

Wang's view is shared by many of his colleagues.

"Governmental websites usually have little funds to operate with. If they have to pay copyright fees for every article, they have no money left," said one member of staff, who asked not to be identified.

But Zhan Qizhi, manager with Sanmianxiang, said this was no excuse for them to neglect copyright regulations. "Being operated by the government, they should set a good example to other commercial sites in obeying laws and regulations."

According to Zhan, they targeted the governmental websites in their campaign on copyright infringements as their operators were easy to track down unlike those who run commercial websites.

The case will be dealt with next month, according to a staff from Nanjing Intermediate People's Court.

(China Daily March 29, 2006)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
HK to Improve Copyright Ordinance
Tough Measures to Protect IPR
Circular Issued on IPR Protection for Exhibits
P2P Copyright Debate
China to Crack down on Online Copyright Infringement
Copyright Industry Contributes over 6% to GDP
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © China.org.cn. All Rights Reserved     E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号