Chinese firms ordered to pay $194,000 to Disney, Pixar over copyright issues

Company - Himanshu Gill - Jan 02,2017

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chinese firms ordered to pay 194000 to disney pixar over copyright issues

A Shanghai court has ordered two Chinese companies to pay a compensation of 1.35 million yuan ($194,000) to Walt Disney Co. and Pixar over charges of intellectual property right infringement and unfair competition.

Disney and Pixar took the two Chinese firms to court charging them for copying parts of their hit movies “Cars” and “Cars 2”. It said that the characters, titles and posters from Chinese animation movie "The Autobots", released in July 2015, were substantially similar to those from "Cars" and "Cars 2".

G-Point based in Beijing and Bluemtv from Xiamen in eastern China's Fujian Province are the two companies that have been proved guilty, according to local media reports. The Autobots was produced by Bluemtv and released by G-Point.

The case was first heard in the Shanghai Pudong New District People's Court in June, 2016. The court ruled that The Autobots’ characters K1 and K2 were similar to animated cars Lightning McQueen and Francesco Bernoulli that featured in Cars and Cars 2.

The director of The Autobots, Zhuo Jianrong, has condemned the verdict, arguing that he haven’t even seen the Disney movies and that cars on the streets also are similar to each other, but that doesn’t mean any one is violating the law.

The compensation included one million yuan to cover the economic losses and 350,000 yuan for legal expenses. In the past few years, intellectual property wins for large foreign firms has been slewing due to increasing complaints of widespread copyright infringement in China. In 2016 itself, German carmaker BMW and basketball star Michael Jordan have both won intellectual property cases in China.

Disney is making a major push in its investments in China as it has recently opened a $5.5 billion theme park in Shanghai; the company’s first on the mainland. Its animated movies like “Big Hero 6” and “Zootopia” have made large collections at the Chinese box office.