20 December 2017
Apple is currently slowly started rising in China again. But the legal woes are also increasing with it. The California-based company is now being sued by an arm of China’s State Administration of Press, Radio, Film and TV (SARFT) because of a propaganda video from over 20 years old- released in 1994. The film depicts Chinese fighting against Japanese soldiers in the northern China in the early 1930’s. A SARFT subsidiary, The Movie Satellite Channel Program Production Centre, claims that it has all the exclusive rights to the film and is facing “huge economic losses” due to Apple broadcasting the film.
The plaintiff alleges that Apple has infringed its right to broadcast the film “Xuebo Dixiao” which roughly translates to “Bloody Plaintiff with the Fierce Enemy” was first shown in 1994. It wasn’t broadcasted by Apple, but by YoukuHD, an app available in the app store. The app is sold by Youku.com, according to Apple’s iTunes website. The Youku site is one of China’s best known movie and TV program streaming sites, owned by Youku Tudou Inc., listed on New York Stock Exchange.
The plaintiff wants the companies to immediately stop broadcasting the film and is seeking a compensation of 50,000 Yuan ($7500) plus a reasonable expenditure of 20,158 Yuan ($3000) in an attempt to stop infringement issues.
Apple was contacted for comment but did not respond immediately. Apple has faced legal setbacks even before this. China is Apple’s second-biggest global market. Sales went down in May when a Beijing intellectual property tribunal in Beijing ordered Apple to stop selling the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s plus in the city after finding a look-a-like device by a small Chinese brand.