22 June 2016Copyright

Disney sues Chinese firms in copyright row

Walt Disney has taken three Chinese companies to court in a copyright infringement lawsuit centring on its movie “Cars”.

In a lawsuit filed at the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court, Disney said Chinese animation “The Autobots” copied elements from the Disney film. The dispute is over copyright infringement and unfair competition.

The Chinese film, released in 2015, is about animated racing cars, while Disney’s “Cars”, released in 2006, follows the story of a racing car called Lightning McQueen.

The three Chinese firms targeted in the complaint are production company Blue MTV, media company Beijing G-Point, and online content platform PPLive.

According to Reuters, “The Autobots” was criticised when it was released with some pointing out similarities with “Cars” and its sequel. A third instalment of the “Cars” franchise is due to be released next year.

Late last year, WIPR reported that China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce would be instigating a special campaign to clamp down on infringements of Disney-related intellectual property.

The project was set up to coincide with the opening of the Shanghai Disneyland resort, which opened its doors last week.

A month after launching the project the government fined five Shanghai-based hotels that were found to be using Disney’s trademarks.

The hotels, owned by the Shenzhen Vienna Hotels Group in the city’s Pudong district, were fined a combined RMB100,000 ($15,600), according to China’s Xinhua news agency.

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