Popular young writer loses plagiarism lawsuit
A well-known young writer, Guo Jingming, and his publishing company were ordered to pay 200,000 yuan (US$24,000) to another writer for copyright infringement connected to a bestseller published in 2002.
The court also ordered both Guo and the publishing company to publish an apology in the China Youth Daily.
Another defendant, the Beijing Books Building was also ordered to stop selling the book.
The plaintiff Zhuang Yu, 25, filed suit last December, saying she finished the novel in 2002.
The China Federation of Literary and Art Circles Press published the plaintiff's novel in February last year.
"But later I found that Guo's book published in November last year by the Chunfeng Press plagiarized my idea, story, main plots, major characters and language," the plaintiff said.
She even said Guo's book copied more than 100 parts of her book.
The court sided with Zhuang.
"Twelve major plot elements in Guo's book are the same or similar to Zhuang's. Meanwhile, a total of 57 paragraphs in Guo's are the same or similar to Zhuang's," the judgment said.
The court ruled that as Zhuang's book was published earlier than Guo's, the defendant violated the plaintiff's copyright.
But the court did not support the plaintiff's claim that Guo violated her idea, language and characteristics of major characters in the book.
"There is no regulation over protection of conception in the Copyright Law," the judgment said.
"Meanwhile, language should not be monopolized by a certain person," said the judgment.
Characteristics of characters, according to the law, are also not protected, the judgment said.
Guo, a university student in Shanghai, disagreed with Zhuang's accusation of copyright infringement.
Guo's book has sold more than 1 million copies, sources said.