Home>News Center>China

Liu Xiang files for rights infringement
By Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-11-23 01:00

Liu Xiang, China's 110-metre hurdles gold medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, has taken a Beijing newspaper and a department store to court over the use of his picture.

Liu Xiang [file photo/ China Daily]
The Beijing Haidian District People's Court accepted the suit on Monday.

The Beijing-based Life Style newspaper allegedly used a photo of Liu jumping a hurdle during the Games without permission in an October front page.

The photo took up most of the front page. The bottom part of the page was taken up by an advertisement for the Zhongyou Department Store, according to the indictment filed by the Olympic champion.

"The two defendants seriously violated Liu's rights... for financial gain," said Liu's lawyer.

According to statistics he provided, every copy of Life Style is read by 4.2 people.

Liu's photo was also used on the newspaper's website, which may have been visited by 2 million people.

The website operator and the owner of the newspaper's trademark were included in the indictment.

The Olympic champion demanded 1.25 million yuan (US$151,000) from the Life Style newspaper, the Beijing Zhongyou Department Store and the other two defendants. He also asked the court to order all the defendants to stop using his picture and issue an apology.

"We fixed the amount of compensation with some previous judgments on infringement of stars' portraiture rights as reference," said Liu's lawyer.

In 2001, the Liaoning High People's Court ruled a cigarette company in Kunming had to pay 800,000 yuan (US$97,000) to another famous track and field athlete, Wang Junxia.

The company had used Wang's photo without permission in 1996 on the Hong Kong Takung Pao newspaper.

"Ahead of publishing the page using the photo, the Life Style newspaper contacted Liu's upper authority, the Track and Field Management Centre of the General Administration of Sport, " Sun Haiping, Liu's coach was quoted by the Beijing News as saying.

"The paper intended to pay money for using Liu's photo on the cover page but Liu refused," he said.

"Liu became very angry when he discovered that the paper used his photo without authorization along with an advertisement of the store," the coach said.

"The behavior of the paper and the store obviously infringed Liu's rights as no deal had been reached either between the management centre and the defendants or between Liu and the defendants," Sun said.

"After Liu won the gold medal in Athens, many people wanted to use his photo for business reasons," he said.

Liu's photos were used without authorization on several books published in Beijing and North China's Hebei Province, sources said.

Sun said Liu is also considering suing other organizations that illegally used his photo.

Sources with the Life Style newspaper declined to comment.

  Today's Top News     Top China News

Sino-Cuban ties foster peace



Arms embargo a 'political' issue -FM



Hu: Iraqi election is the way out of woes



Anti-cancer vaccine enters clinical research



Cold hinders search for black boxes



Wal-Mart concedes China can make unions


  Prime suspect in fake milk powder scandal detained
  Koizumi: China and Japan will never fight another war
  Central bank tells US not to blame others
  HIV/AIDS cases in Shaanxi increase sharply
  EU to send China positive signal on arms ban
  'Operation 10.14' stubs out cigar-trafficking ring
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
Liu Xiang to compete in all Golden League meets
University gives Champion hurdler a leg up
Exhausted Liu Xiang learns to say no
Asian Athletics Federation award for Liu Xiang
Back to track: Liu Xiang starts regular training
Liu Xiang defeats Allen Johnson in Japan
Liu Xiang defeats Allen Johnson in Japan
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008