Video retailer found guilty of selling illegal DVDs

HONG KONG — Six Hollywood studios Wednesday claimed victory after a Beijing court found a video retailer guilty of selling pirated DVDs.

Case was brought by the Motion Picture Association on behalf of Warner Bros, Columbia Pictures, Universal, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney. It cited examples of 13 illegal movies, including “I Robot,” and “Before Sunset.”

Court found Beijing Cherry Blossom Star Culture Co and its affiliated shop guilty and fined it Yuan15,000 ($1,950) on each count, for a fine totaling $25,260.

Case is the second anti-piracy judgment this week by Chinese courts and the fourth against DVD retailers this year.

On Monday another Beijing court ordered Yahoo! China to pay $27,200 in a case brought by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, representing EMI, Warner Music and nine other record companies. Court said that company’s Alibaba-operated search engine pointed to websites that carried unlicensed copies of 229 songs.

Yahoo! China says it will appeal the decision, which it argues has-far reaching implications for all search engines.

Earlier this month the U.S. invoked the World Trade Organization’s disputes procedure, arguing that China is failing to adequately protect intellectual property and that its market restrictions encourage piracy. China has reacted indignantly.

China’s vice premier Wu Yi, Wednesday said that Washington has ignored China’s growing IP enforcement efforts and insisted that country will fight the WTO case “to the last minute.”

On Tuesday she also warned that WTO complaint will damage trade relations between the two countries. “It will seriously undermine bilateral cooperation on intellectual property rights (IPR) under the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade framework and damage the existing cooperative ties on market access for publications.

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