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Saturday, July 2, 2016, 14:50

Apple sued in China over showing of war film

By Agencies

BEIJING — Apple is being sued by a subsidiary of China's broadcasting regulator over a propaganda film more than 20 years old.

A Beijing court says the case has been brought by a production center that alleges that Apple has infringed its exclusive online rights to broadcast a film that depicts Chinese fighting against Japanese soldiers in northern China in the early 1930s.

The plaintiff is also suing the developer and operator of the Youku HD app available on Apple's App Store that it says enabled users to watch the film and caused it "huge economic losses," according to the Beijing Haidian District People's Court.

The court says it has accepted the case brought by Movie Satellite Channel Program Production Center that comes under the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

The plaintiff alleges that Apple has infringed its exclusive online rights to broadcast "Xuebo dixiao," which loosely translates as "Bloody Fight with the Fierce Enemy" and was first shown in 1994.

The production center is also suing Heyi Information and Technology (Beijing) Company Ltd., which developed and operated the Youku HD app, the court said in an online statement Thursday.

The app is sold by, according to information on Apple's iTunes site. The Youku site is one of China's best known movie and TV program streaming sites and is owned by Youku Tudou Inc., which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The plaintiff wants the two companies to immediately stop broadcasting the film and is seeking compensation of 50,000 yuan (US$7,500) plus its "reasonable expenditure" of 20,158 yuan (US$3,000) in attempting to stop the infringement of its rights, the court said.

Emailed requests for comment to Apple spokespeople were not immediately answered Saturday, and a spokesman for Youku Tudou was not able to immediately comment.

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