A Beijing court on Thursday ruled in favor of Taiwanese romance novelist Chiung Yao (瓊瑤) in an intellectual property infringement case, awarding her damages of 5 million yuan (US$802,500).
The novelist had filed legal action against five people involved in the production of The Palace: The Lost Daughter (宮鎖連城), a period drama TV series about court intrigue during the Qing Dynasty.
In the lawsuit, Chiung Yao said the TV series had plagiarized her 1993 novel Plum Blossom Scar (梅花烙).
The defendants included screenwriter Yu Zheng (于正), Hunan etv Media Culture Co and Wanda Cinemas.
In its verdict, the court ruled that Yu must issue an apology on major Chinese news Web sites, including Sina.com and Ifeng.com, and pay compensation of 5 million yuan to Chiung Yao.
“My eyes are welling with tears. I just want to proclaim that a major step has been taken toward upholding justice and intellectual property rights,” Chiung Yao said on the Weibo fan page of Flowers in Fog (花非花霧非霧), another TV series based on her writing.
Several renowned Chinese screenwriters, including Wang Hailin (汪海林) and Zhao Dongling (趙冬苓), welcomed the ruling by the Third Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing.
Zhao said on his Weibo page that the decision represents a great leap forward in China’s court rulings on matters of intellectual property rights.
Meanwhile, citing a lack of compelling evidence, Yu’s studio issued a statement saying that it intends to appeal the court’s decision.
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