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November 23, 2011

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Website utilizing a novel idea infringed copyright

A man who downloaded more than 4,000 online novels and reproduced them at his own website to make profits was sentenced to 10 months in prison for copyright infringement, the Pudong New Area People's court said yesterday.

The convict, surnamed Wang, was also fined 100,000 yuan (US$15,717), the court ruled.

In 2008, Wang created a website called "I love literature" and started his illegal business to reproduce online novels that he downloaded from other websites. However, Wang found the click rate of his website was far from satisfactory after one year's operation.

To attract more readers, he decided to upload more novels. He used data-acquisition software, recommended by his peer partners, to download online novels automatically. Wang said he and his peers took turns downloading the latest online novels.

Between 2008 and 2010, Wang downloaded more than 4,000 online novels from various websites, including, a popular original literature website under Cloudary Corporation, who later discovered Wang reproduced 500 online novels from its website.

Last December, Wang applied to join the Baidu Advertising Union to seek advertising clients and made a profit of 226,000 yuan from ads in the following four months, the court heard.

Prosecutors said Wang worked seven hours a day with a monthly income of more than 30,000 yuan.

In February, Wang sold his profit-making website for 1 million yuan as he was upset after a series of websites that offered free downloading services, such as and, was closed or forced to change in a nationwide crackdown on sharing of pirated material.

After selling the website, Wang hid in a hotel in his hometown of Wuhan but was apprehended on February 26 after Cloudary reported to the police.

Under Chinese law, those who illegally reproduce or reprint 500 or more copies of protected works are guilty of copyright infringement.


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