Hollywood studios sue China Web site, cafe over piracy

A lawsuit brought by Hollywood studios against Chinese online video provider Jeboo.com and a Shanghai Internet cafe could soon be heard in court

Major Hollywood studios fighting pirates over "Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest" and other films illegally made available for download could soon have their day in court.

A lawsuit filed on September 28 will be heard in Shanghai's No. 2. Intermediate Court on November 29, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday.

The suit pits Twentieth Century Fox International, Walt Disney International, Universal International, Paramount Pictures and Sony's Columbia Pictures against a Beijing-based online film and television content provider, Jeboo.com, and a Shanghai Internet cafe, said Frank Rittman, Asia-Pacific regional legal counsel of the Motion Picture Association International (MPA), which is coordinating the litigation in China.

A police inspection found Shanghai East Cyber Cafe to be facilitating unlicensed viewing of 13 MPA member films via Jeboo, including "Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest," "Click," and "Hitch," according to the MPA. The MPA did not say when the inspection took place.

"Internet cafes are a pretty significant source of piracy in China," said Rittman, citing a June 2006 report by China-based research firm CCIDNet, affiliated with the Ministry of Information Industry. The report said that Internet cafes are the primary point of connection for 29.5 percent of Chinese Internet users, and that 76 percent of those users watch movies at the cafes.

One way that Chinese Internet users can watch movies is using Jeboo's entertainment bar, a software application, Rittman said. "Jeboo is a fairly big player. What they do is provide the entertainment bar to their customers. They're a pretty significant player, and cafes are a significant source of piracy," he said.

The five studios bringing the suit are seeking 3.2 million yuan (AU$492,593) in damages and legal costs, Rittman said, and are seeking to send the message that Internet cafes and content providers "risk litigation if they engage in piracy."

A Jeboo.com representative did not return a telephone call requesting comment on the suit. The Internet cafe could not be reached for comment.

The MPA estimates that major Hollywood studios lost US$2.7 billion in 2005 in sales they would have generated via the box office, home video, and elsewhere if pirated products were not available.

However, a recent paper questioned the MPA's figures, and said that the MPA is pointing the finger at foreign countries, specifically developing nations, for piracy. The U.K., Spain, France, Mexico, and the U.S. are the greatest per-capita culprits for piracy in terms of lost revenue, according to that report.

Some Chinese film fans downloading unauthorized copies of the Ang Lee film "Lust, Caution" this week received a bit of retribution: malware. A Beijing-based antivirus company estimated 15 percent of available online copies of the film were giving users either viruses along with the film, or Trojan horses loaded with dozens of viruses.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Steven Schwankert

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?