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February 2, 1999

CHINESE COURTS GET TOUGH ON SOFTWARE PIRACY

By CBR Staff Writer

Avon Products, the US cosmetics direct sales company, is involved in a case in the Chinese supreme court in which it is appealing against a lower-court judgement that it violated a computer software copyright and must pay $12m in damages to the two Chinese companies which developed it. Yue Yang, owner of Beijing Jingyan Electronics, says it is a rare case of a leading US corporation pirating a Chinese company’s intellectual property. Meanwhile, China’s first case of web site plagiarism will soon be heard by a Beijing court. Beijing’s Read Online Information Technology, is suing another ISP, the small Dongfang Information Co located in Sichuan Province which it claims illegally copied Read Online’s homepage including content, colors, images, layout and text. It is seeking RMB 199,900 ($24,172) in compensation.

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