Beijing Forbidden City Film Company has sued Sohu.com (SOHU) and another company in Beijing's Dongcheng District People's Court because Sohu.com apparently allowed netizens to download and see the movie "Sleepless City" without authorization from the film company. Forbidden City Film is seeking CNY180,000 in compensation.
Local reports say that in March 2004, when "Sleepless City" was first being run in China, Sohu added the film to its "Sohu Online" channel for users to download and watch online. Thinking that Sohu's behavior brought it great economic loss, Forbidden City Film wrote to Sohu asking it to stop the service. The film company received a reply from Sohu saying all films on its website were provided by Beijing Golden Interactive Technology Development Company, and Sohu suggested Forbidden City Film contact Golden Interactive to settle the dispute.
After a negotiation with Golden Interactive, Forbidden City Film was told it would receive CNY200,000, and that the compensation would come from both Sohu and Golden Interactive. However the film company only received CNY20000, and is now seeking the remaining CNY180,000.
Forbidden City Film's suit is against Golden Interactive and Sohu. The film company's case is currently being processed.