China’s media administrative wing sues Apple over 1990s war film

Apple Store West Lake China exterior 001

A subsidiary of China’s broadcasting regulator is taking Apple to court over showing a propaganda film which was released back in the 1990s, reports The Associated Press. The plaintiff—Movie Satellite Channel Program Production Center, which comes under the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television—alleges that the iPhone maker has infringed its exclusive online rights to broadcast its movie which depicts Chinese fighting against Japanese soldiers in northern China in the early 1930s.

According to the Beijing Haidian District People’s Court, 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”.

The flick was first shown in 1994.

They’re also suing the developer of the Youku HD app, which it says enabled users to watch the film and caused it “huge economic losses”.

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

Neither party has responded to requests seeking comment.

Apple, along with other Western companies, is feeling the heat from the Chinese government which wants to give domestic companies a boost. In April, Chinese regulators shuttered the iBooks and iTunes Movies stores in the country, Apple’s second-biggest global market.

Apple also lost exclusive rights to the iPhone trademark in China to a Chinese company, which can now use its trademark on bags, wallets and other leather goods sold in the country. And in May, Apple was ordered to stop selling the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in Beijing over alleged infringement of patented design by a tiny domestic company.

Source: The Associated Press