News group sues over publication of 'exclusive'

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 February, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 February, 2005, 12:00am

Oriental Press Group (OPG) is seeking damages from Wen Wei Po newspaper for publishing an exclusive article from the Oriental Daily News without acknowledging the source.

The article in question reported an 11-hour detention of a Hong Kong father and son by immigration officers in Britain last August. The pair, who did not speak English, complained of racial discrimination.

According to a writ filed yesterday by the Oriental Press Group and subsidiary OPG Human Resources in the Court of First Instance, the article was published in the Oriental Daily News and its website on August 19 last year.

A similar version of the story was found in Wen Wei Po and its website a day later.

The plaintiffs wrote to the defendant demanding it immediately stop further use of the article and make a proposal for a settlement.

But the defendant replied that publishing an announcement in its newspaper acknowledging the source of the article would settle the matter. In the writ, the plaintiffs complained about the 'blatant infringement' of their copyright and said they had suffered loss and damage as a result.

They claimed that financial compensation alone would not make up for the damage suffered. They are seeking an injunction order from the court against further infringement of copyright by Wen Wei Po, as well as compensation payments.

Wen Wei Po has signed a deed of undertaking in which it acknowledged publishing or plagiarising - either in full or in substantial part - 37 newspaper articles that appeared in Oriental Daily News or its sister paper The Sun between September, 1999, and June, 2004, according to the writ.

The acknowledgement was made in a Deed of Undertaking, it said.

The writ said Wen Wei Po had executed a Deed of Undertaking acknowledging it had published or plagiarised all or substantial parts of either in entirety or the substantial parts of at least 37 newspaper articles appearing in Oriental Daily News and The Sun between September 1999 and June 2004.