HK broadcaster wins piracy case in China

A Hong Kong broadcaster won damages from a Chinese Web portal for illegally distributing its program on the Internet, in what is believed to be the first such piracy case victory in China by an outside claimant, an AFP report said.

According to the report, Television Broadcasts (TVB), the city's largest terrestrial broadcaster, said it had won 200,000 yuan ($25,000) from Chinese-language portal www.21cn.com for distributing four of its programs, including the 2003 Miss Hong Kong Pageant final.

The portal is a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Telecom, the mainland's largest fixed-line operator.

It was TVB's first successful infringement case in China, it said, and media reports in Hong Kong said it was the first time a non-Chinese company had successfully sued a Chinese firm for program piracy.

The high court's verdict in southern China's Guangdong province came after the Web owner sought to overturn a lower court ruling that it had committed copyright infringement, the AFP report said.

The court was unable to confirm the result, the report said.

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