Beijing's Haidian District People's Court yesterday held its first session on Soufun's lawsuit against Sohu (SOHU) for copyright and domain name violations.

Soufun claims in its petition that Sohu's real estate website Focus.cn, which was opened in Nanjing in February this year, has been copying large quantities of Soufun's web content including bulletin board (BBS) postings. Soufun presented relevant pictures and data as evidence.

But Sohu refutes Soufun's claims by saying that Soufun's information comes directly from real estate developers, so Soufun does not own the copyright to these words and pictures. For the BBS information, Sohu says the information was created by the users, and not by Soufun itself, so it is not a violation of copyright to reprint that information.

Soufun asks Sohu to pay CNY477,500 as compensation and make a public apology. The case is being processed by the court and there is no indication of when a decision will be made.

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