China’s SARFT sues Apple for infringing online broadcast rights

Another day, another lawsuit. China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), a government agency supervising content production in the country, is suing the Apple for infringing the exclusive online broadcast right of a film it made, reports Forbes.

According to a June 30 post on the website of the People’s Court in Haidian, A unit of SARFT, which owns the movie channel on state broadcaster CCTV, is filing the lawsuit because the Apple App Store allows users to download the Youku HD app, which the agency says is streaming a film it produced and aired in 1994 without obtaining permission. Both Apple and Youku Tudou, an online video site owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, have brought “huge economic losses” to the unit, according to the post. SARFT is seeking 50,000 yuan (about $7,515) in total damages.

This is a continuation of Apple’s woes in China. It was announced yesterday that app stores operators such as the Cupertino, California-based company must establish the identity of users, while monitoring and reporting postings that contain banned content. Earlier this month Apple's China branch was fined 50,000 yuan ($7,595) for "serious dishonest acts” such as suspected tax evasion. Also this month, Shenzhen Baili, a Chinese company won a Beijing patent office ruling, that the the iPhone 6 copied its own Baili 100C smartphone (although Shenzhen Baili is apparently no longer operating).