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Fined for selling pirated Hollywood movies

world Updated: Sep 04, 2007 15:12 IST

A Chinese court has fined a Beijing firm for selling pirated copies of movies made by six Hollywood film studios, but rejected their demand for an apology, state media said on Tuesday.

The company, which has over 100 DVD outlets, was ordered to pay 192,000 yuan ($25,400) in compensation to 20th Century Fox Film Corp and five other Hollywood studios, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The six studios filed the copyright lawsuit in March, saying Beijing Yongsheng Century International Cultural Development Co. was selling pirated films including "Lord of the Rings" and "The Day After Tomorrow".

They demanded the Beijing company immediately stop selling the pirated DVDs, pay compensation and make an open apology.

While ordering the fine, the court rejected the demand for an apology, saying the damage was limited to their property rights, rather than their reputation, according to a court spokesman cited by Xinhua.

Counterfeit goods, from DVDs and software to sports shoes and luxury-brand handbags, are widely available in China and have been a constant source of tension between the Asian giant and its main trading partners.

In August, the United States for the third time in less than a year asked the World Trade Organization to mediate a copyright trade dispute with China, saying counterfeiters were still being allowed to flourish.