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Celebs fight back against rights infringements

By Zhang Yi | China Daily | Updated: 2019-12-02 09:10
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Unlike in Western countries, the low compensation awarded in China makes businesspeople take the risk because the amount awarded is unlikely to be much higher than a standard endorsement fee, he said.

In June, the Shenzhen court ruled in favor of Mo, saying Yuci Technology had used his name and image for commercial promotion without permission and had created an image of Mo as a spokesperson for the company's products.

The company had infringed Mo's name and image rights and should bear legal responsibility, the verdict said.

The court ordered the company to stop infringing Mo's rights, delete the video, publish a letter of apology in newspapers, and pay Mo 2 million yuan for loss of intellectual property and 100,000 yuan for mental anguish.

According to Liu, Mo had not previously endorsed any products, so the court was unable to accurately assess the level of damage caused.

However, the law stipulates that for such an incident courts can award compensation of up to 500,000 yuan.

"In Mo's case, the court broke the limit in a pioneering way, considering that the amount of compensation determined under the general standard could not make up for the plaintiff's loss and was not enough to punish the defendant," Liu said.

"It is a fair award that effectively protects legitimate rights and punishes the infringer. The high compensation is a deterrent to lawbreakers and provides a guide for future cases."

Zhu, from Beijing Xingquan Law Firm, said, "The compensation in Mo's case was very high, but compensation judgments are usually very conservative in China, which effectively indulges the infringer's behavior."

However, some courts are starting to award differing sums depending on the severity of the case, he added.

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