Chinese video site denies piracy claim

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One of China's largest pay-per-view video websites has been hit with piracy lawsuits from five major US film companies..

Representatives of 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney, Paramount, Columbia Pictures and Universal have filed lawsuits in China against Jeboo.com.

The suit alleges that the Chinese firm distributed several popular movies without permission.

Jeboo representatives said in statements to local media today that the charges were "inconsistent with the facts", and claimed that the studios were probably targeting the wrong company.

Legal filings presented to a court in Shanghai also name an internet café in the city where members of the public allegedly downloaded or viewed the movies.

The court will begin hearing the case on 29 November, according to the state-controlled Xinhua news agency.

The studios are seeking an apology, together with damages and costs exceeding US$430,000 from Jeboo and the internet café.

Local press reports speculated that the naming of only one internet café was likely to be a symbolic measure that could help the studios to establish a clear chain of supporting evidence pointing at Jeboo.

China has more than 130,000 licensed and unlicensed internet cafés, according to various estimates.

The studios are represented in the case by the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the international arm of the Motion Picture Association of America.

"The internet café provided [a] movie download service through the software developed by Jeboo.com," the MPA claimed, according to local media reports.

"Among others, 13 movies, including Pirates of the Caribbean 2, Charlie's Angels 2, X-Men 2 and Night at the Museum, were distributed without authorisation."
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