Zhou Jing, the writer of the popular novel-turned-drama "The Princess Weiyoung," is accused of plagiarizing someone's work. (Photo : YouTube)
The Chaoyang District People's Court in Beijing agreed to hear a case against writer Zhou Jing, who was accused of plagiarizing other works for his novel-turned-soap opera, "The Princess Weiyoung."
China Daily reported that the case against Zhou, who goes under the pseudonym Qin Jian, was filed by 11 online writers.
"The Princess Weiyoung," which started airing in both Beijing TV and Dragon TV back in November last year, is currently thriving in popularity.
Such was work's popularity that it accumulated more than 1.76 billion views in Tencent 11 days after it first aired, Sixth Tone has reported. The novel version first surfaced in online literary website Xiao Xiang Academy, with Zhou uploading it in installments.
Lawyer Wang Guohua, who serves as the lead counsel representing the 11 online writers, claimed that the novel featured many copy-pasted content in both plot and composition. Zhou, for her part, has yet to release an official statement regarding the accusation.
Earlier, a collective of volunteers compared all "The Princess Weiyoung's" 294 chapters with around 200 novels. Their investigation revealed only nine chapters were deemed as original, with one of the volunteers insinuating that Zhou may have used software to copy from other works.
Further investigations revealed that one online store has advertised its online novel software as one that helped write the work. A typical online novel software retails between 10 to 2,000 yuan at Taobao, Alibaba's platform for online shopping.
Copyright issues are becoming a major issue in Chinese entertainment, given the growing profitability of television shows and movies derived from novels published online. The National Copyright Administration isn't taking the matter sitting down, as it constantly updates a blacklist of copyright violators.
The same agency also called for online literature platforms to strengthen their measures against copyright infringement. Said move hints at future regulations addressing copyright concerns in content published online.