Bilibili to pay $60 mln for infringing top league CBA’s copyrighted videos

China’s Beijing High People’s Court on July 23 upheld a lower court ruling in favor of CBA League (Beijing) Sports Co., Ltd. (中篮联(北京)体育有限公司), a licensed intellectual property operating company of China’s first-tier professional men’s basketball league, in a complaint lodged by it against China’s Nasdaq-listed video sharing website’s co-owners Shanghai Hode Information Technology Co., Ltd. (上海幻电信息科技有限公司) and Shanghai Kuanyu Digital Technology Co., Ltd. (上海宽娱数码科技有限公司), alleging the two companies infringed CBA League’s copyright by allowing their website to host footage of the 2019–20 CBA season as offerings without authorization and seeking 406 million yuan ($60 million) in damages and costs.


The damages awarded to CBA League as requested included compensatory damages calculated based on the close to 700 infringing videos of varied sizes and punitive damages that were three times the compensatory damages in amount for their website’s high degree of willfulness in its infringement as a former licensed broadcaster of the league in the 2017–18 and 2018–19 seasons running with a good knowledge of licensing terms of copyrighted content.


The appellate court rejected Kuanyu’s appeal that the Beijing Intellectual Property Court didn’t have jurisdiction to adjudicate the case for the amount of the damages claimed exceeding a certain limit. The appellate court found the 406 million yuan claimed is within the cap of 5 billion yuan ($740 million) in jurisdictional standards of an intermediate court under Articles 1 and 4 of the Supreme People’s Court’s Adjusted Criteria for Civil Lawsuits High People’s Courts and Intermediate People’s Courts Have Original Jurisdiction over by Damages Claimed (《最高人民法院关于调整高级人民法院和中级人民法院管辖第一审民事案件标准的通知》). The appellate court also affirmed the great impact the appellant claimed the case had didn’t justify its request for transferring the proceedings to the appellate court.


The case docket no. is (2022)京民辖终71号, whose English translation is 71, second instance (终), jurisdiction (辖), civil case (民), (2022) Beijing High People’s Court ((2022)京).