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August 23, 2012

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Store owner must pay 10,000 yuan over copied art

A STORE owner has been ordered to pay compensation of more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,574) to an art company for selling a pirated embroidery copy of the painting "Drunken Imperial Concubine" at a construction materials mall, Pudong New Area People's Court officials said yesterday.

The art company, Shanghai Jingcui Art Product Development Co Ltd, found the store selling the embroidery in November.

The art company, which owns the copyright for the work of art, commissioned a notary to buy the embroidery at the price of 1,800 yuan. Then the company sued the owner, surnamed Zheng, and his employee, demanding compensation of 109,000 yuan.

Chinese rising artist Liu Linghua created the oil painting "Drunken Imperial Concubine" and sold the copyright and usage right to the company in 2010.

The painting was displayed in the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010 and it is well known home and abroad, according to the plaintiff.

The accused said that they sold embroidery instead of a painting. They also argued that the concubine's face and clothes in the embroidery is different from that in the painting.

Zheng said that he had purchased only one piece of the embroidery from Suzhou in nearby Jiangsu Province.

But the court said that the embroidery and the painting share lots of similarities in composition, layout and color. The different material and the slight difference in lines and colors didn't keep the embroidery from being a pirated work.


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