Hong Kong Filmart: China Film Group Files Lawsuit Over 'Wolf Totem' Streaming


The state colossus is suing web firms Youku Tudou, Baidu and Sina Weibo for copyright theft.

Chinese state-owned film company China Film Group has filed a lawsuit against online streaming services Youku Tudou, Baidu and Sina Weibo for copyright infringement of the movie Wolf Totem.

The $40 million Sino-French epic from Jean-Jacques Annaud had grossed $107.46 million in China by last week. But China Film Group claims that the online streaming services had infringed copyright by allowing their sites to be used for illegal downloads of the film and is seeking damages of $410,000 (2.54 million yuan), with most of the claim levied against against Youku Tudou.

A court in Beijing has now accepted the case. The plaintiff stated that China Film Group was the copyright owner for Wolf Totem in mainland China, and that the three companies had caused significant losses during the film's theatrical release.

After the movie bowed, China Film Group discovered a number of links through the Baidu search engine. The company sent a letter on Feb. 28 asking for their removal, but alleged that Baidu had not complied.

Sina Weibo deleted similar links when requested, although others are said to have later appeared. China Film Group also alleges that Youku Tudou provided online movie-on-demand services for the film without payment.