Cybersitter Sues CBS For Software Copyright Infringement Under Both US and Chinese Copyright Law

copyright-attorney-copyright-law-chinese-software-cybersitter.pngLos Angeles, CA – Cybersitter, LLC filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against CBS Interactive, Inc. accusing it of software piracy, “wherein two Chinese companies, backed by the Chinese government, stole approximately 3,000 lines of code from [Cybersitter’s] software program, and disseminated it to tens of millions of end users in China and elsewhere with the willing participation of Internet sites such as [CBS’s] ZDNet China. CBS participated in this Chinese government-led initiative to proliferate the pirated program amongst the Chinese-speaking population by offering the program for free download on its website.”

CYBERsitter’s software is an Internet content filter program “designed to help parents protect their children from viewing inappropriate pornographic and violent content on the Web,” and was one of the first programs of its kind when introduced over 14 years ago. Plaintiff alleges that the Chinese government and software developers copied its code in their infringing filtering program known as “Green Dam Youth Escort.” The complaint contends that “unlike Cybersitter, the Green Dam program was found to contain filters to block political and religious content expressing views that differed from those of the Chinese government. The program was also found to have serious security vulnerabilities that would allow third parties to monitor or take control of the computers on which it was installed.”

Plaintiff alleges infringement under U.S. copyright laws, in addition to copyright infringement under the copyright laws of the People’s Republic of China: “The [PRC] is a signatory to the Berne Convention and has adopted laws that comply with the minimum standards set by the Berne Convention. Accordingly, because Plaintiff’s Copyrighted Works are foreign works under the Chinese copyright law, those works are entitled to full protection of the Chinese copyright laws from the moment they are created without and need for registration in China (or elsewhere).” Plaintiff alleges that its estimated damages are no less than $1.2 Million. The case is CYBERsitter, LLC v. CBS Interactive, Inc., CV09-7245 AHM (C.D. Cal. 2009).