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Movie Studios Settle with Chinese Site

Five Hollywood studios—Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Paramount, and Universal—represented by the MPA have reached a settlement (PDF) with Beijing Jeboo Interactive Science & Technology Co. over setting up Internet cafes with software that enables customers to watch pirated versions of Hollywood movies. Among the movies available via the "Jeboo Bar" were Click,Hitch, and Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest. Terms of the settlement weren’t released, Jeboo has apologized and will pay a "significant amount" in compensation to the studios.

"We’re very pleased with the outcome. Services like Jeboo have profited from copyright infringement and undermined the development of legitimate online services," said MPA VP and Asia-Pacific regional counsel Frank Rittman, in a statement. "This court- supervised settlement affirms the sovereignty of the Chinese judiciary for the prompt and equitable resolution of intellectual property rights disputes, which should be gratifying to copyright owners around the world."

The MPA was resolved 42 cases involving 135 counts of copyright infringement in China, and has been paid more than RMB 2 million in damages and awards. Unfortunately for the studios, that amounts to less than $300,000; the studios estimate they lost more than $1.2 billion to piracy in the Asia-Pacific region alone in 2005.

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