Shanghai - Five American movie studios are suing China's largest online movie provider for breach of copyright.
20th Century Fox, Disney, Paramount, Columbia and Universal have launched six lawsuits against Jeboo.com and Eastday Bar, which runs a chain of Internet cafes.
The case will be heard from next Thursday at Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People's Court.
Jeboo.com is accused of broadcasting, without permission, movies such as Charlie's Angels and X Men 2 to Internet cafe customers - a potential violation of the movie companies' intellectual property rights.
Pan Sishen, a spokesman for the court, told China Daily that the six cases may be heard collectively, because the defendant and legal facts are all the same.
The five movie companies have demanded that Jeboo.com stop broadcasting the movies, make a formal apology and compensate them to the tune of 3.2 million yuan ($432,000).
According to the five movie magnates, the Tongxin shop of Eastday Bar installed software, which allowed customers to pick from a range of 13 Hollywood movies. The five movie studios have accused Jeboo.com of helping the Internet caf chain.
According to China Business News, Jeboo.com is the largest online cinema running with copyright authorization. It has the Internet copyright for nearly 30,000 movies, and TV series. The company was founded in 2004 and is China's first authorized content service provider for broadband users.
Xie Jiangping, assistant to the president of Jeboo.com, released a statement to China Daily, claiming to be "deeply surprised and confused" by the lawsuit.
The statement said: "Our company has always operated abiding by copyright regulations, and we will always do so. Each movie or TV play has formal copyright agreements and authorization. We don't intend to guess the real intention of these five American movie companies, but we think probably they've found the wrong object".