Case No.: (2022) Jing 0106 Xing Chu No. 86
Public prosecution organ: Fengtai District People's Procuratorate, Beijing Municipality
The Organizing Committee for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and Winter Paralympic Games (hereinafter referred to as the Organizing Committee for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games) is the copyright owner of the mascot image art works for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and Winter Paralympic Games. From November to December 2021, during the preparation and hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and Winter Paralympic Games, Ren, without the permission of the Organizing Committee for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, made dolls having images of the mascots for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games at his current residence in Rongcheng County, Baoding City, Hebei Province for lucrative purpose. He then sold them to Fengtai District and other places in Beijing through online stores, with a total illegal turnover of over 60,000 yuan.
On January 1, 2022, Ren was arrested by police officers from the Liuliqiao Police Station of the Fengtai Branch of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau. The police officers caught over 30 mascot image dolls without padding and over 160 unsold mascot image dolls at his current residence.
The first trial court held that Ren, for the purpose of profit, copied and distributed the works whose copyright belongs to the copyright owner without the permission thereof. The circumstances were serious, and his behavior constituted a crime of copyright infringement, which should be punished in accordance with the law. Considering that Ren was able to truthfully confess the facts of the crime upon his arrival at the case and voluntarily plead guilty to punishment, he was given a lighter punishment in accordance with the law. According to the provisions of Article 217(1) of the Criminal Law, he was sentenced to one year's imprisonment and a fine of RMB 40,000. It was ruled to continue pursuing the illegal gains of Ren, confiscate and turn them over to the national treasury; transfer one mobile phone along with the case, which was confiscated for archiving; and transfer the mascot image dolls and dolls having no padding that have infringed upon copyright along with the case, which shall be confiscated and destroyed. Ren accepted the judgement and did not institute an appeal. The first trial judgment shall take effect.
This case is the first criminal case in China involving infringement to the copyright of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games mascot image art works. The Winter Olympic Games mascot is an important symbol of the Winter Olympic Games, embodying the extraordinary creative wisdom of creators and possessing a strong sense of artistic beauty. It is an art work protected by China's Copyright Law and an object of copyright infringement in Criminal Law. This case was concluded before the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. Criminal measures were taken to investigate and severely punish criminal acts that infringe on the intellectual property rights of the Winter Olympic Games, which fully demonstrates China's determination and attitude to protect intellectual property rights in accordance with the law, and effectively enhances China's international image in protecting intellectual property rights of the Winter Olympic Games.
(Case source: official WeChat account of Beijing Higher People's Court)