Lexicographical Publishing House Blames Tencent-Backed Sogou for Copying its Encyclopedia
Xu Wei
/SOURCE : Yicai
Lexicographical Publishing House Blames Tencent-Backed Sogou for Copying its Encyclopedia

(Yicai Global) Aug. 9 -- Chinese Lexicographical Publishing House has filed a lawsuit against Sogou Information Service, which runs Tencent-backed search engine Sogou, claiming that the latter has stolen large quantities of content for its peer-reviewed online encyclopedia.

The Shanghai-based publisher requested the Chinese court to order Sogou to stop copying Hanyu Da Cidian (Comprehensive Chinese Word Dictionary), apologize, and compensate CNY23.7 million (USD3.8 million) for the losses, a case report published on Beijing court's website showed. Sogou's employee told local newspaper National Business Daily that the Beijing-based browser firm has not received the prosecution materials yet.

Hanyu Da Cidian series, the largest collection of its kind in the domestic market, includes 23 books whose accumulative price is CNY2,800 (USD410). The complete series has more than 405,000 entries of words. 

Set up in 2013, Sogou Encyclopedia entrusts its users with the task of adding and editing word entries, much in a similar fashion as Wikipedia functions. Sogou Encyclopedia has clearly stated in its user agreement that volunteer editors should adhere to local laws and regulations.

Chinese copyright law says that in certain cases, such as in order to introduce a point, other authors' works may be used without payment if the name of the source and the work is specified in the target piece. If the court sees that Sogou's case corresponds this kind of reasonable reuse, requiring online editors to tag their inputs with source referencing could solve the issue, said Li Junhui, a researcher at the intellectual property department of China University of Political Science and Law.

Editor: Emmi Laine 

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Keywords: Shanghai Lexicographical Publishing House , Intellectual Property Rights , IPR , Sogou , Sogou Information Service