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Internet writer Wu Zui has announced he's suing his former employer for illicit competition. He's taking the action against qidian.com, the biggest website for Internet literature in China.
This is the first lawsuit where an individual is suing an Internet literature website for illicit competition.
Wu Zui left qidian.com in 2009. On December 1st the same year, he published an original novel named Luofu on zongheng.com, another web-site of Internet literature. The novel soon became one of the most widely read with its clicking soaring to more than 21 million.
Soon after its sweeping success, another novel also named Luofu emerged on qidian.com on April 15th, 2010.
Wu Zui claims that the later Luofu is a pirated version of his own work.
He claims that for the purpose of promotion, qidian.com purchased the key word "luofu" from one of the biggest Chinese search engines, baidu.com. As a result, every time people search for "luofu" on baidu.com, the link goes to qidian.com. Wu Zui also claims that qidian.com deliberately deleted the author's name in links on search result pages.
Internet writer Wu Zui said, "Let's say someone wants to read my novel. If he goes to baidu.com, he can only find the one with the same title, not mine. It's confusing."
Wu Zui is demanding that qidian.com put an end to its illicit competition. This includes removing Luofu from its web-site, and changing search results with key words "Luofu" from baidu.com.
Lawyer Wang Shaohua said, "According to the law, what qidian.com has done is illicit competition. Qidian.com used the name of an already-existing famous product and created confusion among consumers."
Qidian.com quickly issued a statement, insisting that the Luofu on its website is completely original.