Peppa Pig, the British preschool animated television series, is extremely popular in China. The copyrights owners Astley Baker Davies Limited (ABD) and Entertainment One UK Limited (Entertainment One) have registered the copyrighted work of Peppa Pig in the USA and the copyrighted work of Peppa Pig, George Pig, Daddy Pig, Mummy Pig in China. The copyright owners have been taking appropriate actions against counterfeit Peppa Pig derivative products and filing lawsuits against the infringers in China.
ABD & Entertainment One found that Shantou Jufan Electronic Commerce Co., Ltd. (Jufan) has been operating a store on Taobao platform, selling Peppa Pig toys produced by Shantou Jiale Toy Industry Co., Ltd.(Jiale). A lawsuit was filed against Jufan, Jiale, and Taobao.
Hangzhou Internet Court found that Jiale’s production and selling of the Peppa Pig toys have infringed the reproduction right and distribution right of the work Peppa Pig, George Pig, Daddy Pig, Mummy Pig. Jufan has sold Peppa Pig toys and displayed a picture of the infringing Peppa Pig toy on its Taobao store, which has infringed the information network broadcasting right and distribution right of the work Peppa Pig, George Pig, Daddy Pig, Mummy Pig. The Hangzhou Internet Court ordered in its judgment:
(1) Jufan to stop from selling the Peppa Pig toys,
(2) Jiale to stop producing and selling the Peppa Pig toys,
(3) Jufan to pay a compensation of RMB 30,000, and
(4) Jiale to pay a compensation of RMB 120,000.
Generally, cases of copyright infringement in China are settled by agreement outside the court. This is the first time Peppa Pig pursued a judgment in its copyright infringement case. In other lawsuits filed by ABD and Entertainment One concerning “Peppa Pig”, they have settled with the infringers. In view of the popularity of Peppa Pig in China, the case serves as a warning to other infringers.