Chinese playwright chases Fox into court

The IPKat's mysterious new informant, Agent lc05355, has thrown him a link to this item on China View concerning Li Jianmin, a Chinese science fiction writer who has commenced proceedings for copyright infringement against 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. In this action, which opened in the Intermediate People's Court of Dongying, Shandong Province, yesterday, the writer alleged that Fox's movie The Day After Tomorrow copied the creative concept and the plots of two plays he completed in 2001 and 2002.

Right: Fox is greatly concerned by global warming

The film, in which much of the world is destroyed through global warming, allegedly contains 308 scenes that were described in his plays.

Apparently Li is not seeking pecuniary damages: he just wants to be respected for his work and has requested acknowledgement of the copyright infringement (plus costs). Li Jianmin's big problem is proof of copying, since it's not clear how Fox could have gained access to his plays. Agent lc05355 comments on the fact that he only wants respect and acknowledgement, rather than the cash: "if only there were more people like him".

The IPKat's not so sure: people who litigate on points of principle are already in sufficient supply. Merpel's curious to know whether this is just the beginning: if Li Jianmin wins in China, where damages are not known to be particularly large, might he not then take his claim to court in the USA, where it seems you can be sued for infringement damages of about US$100 million for just looking as if you might be about to hum someone else's tune.

Fox movies here, here, here and here
Brown fox recipe here
Chinese fox myths here
Chinese playwright chases Fox into court Chinese playwright chases Fox into court Reviewed by Jeremy on Sunday, April 15, 2007 Rating: 5

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