China’s propaganda department has won three out of four copyright infringement cases it brought against Tencent Holdings over unauthorised showing of movies, court documents showed. The film and television production centre of the Chinese Communist Party’s Publicity Department, which acts as the propaganda authority, argued that Tencent inflicted “great economic damage” by posting the movies on the Tencent Video platform without authorisation, according to court documents disclosed by the Beijing Internet Court on Sunday. In each case, the department asked that Tencent pay 50,000 yuan (US$7,663) in compensation. The court supported the propaganda department’s case in three of the four cases, ruling that Tencent had infringed on the department’s “right of communication through information networks”, defined in China’s copyright law as “providing works to the public by wired or wireless means, so that people may access the works from a place and at a time individually chosen by them.” The court ordered Tencent to compensate the propaganda department’s film centre 30,420 yuan for each of the three violations, according to the court documents. Tencent did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Writers protest China’s largest publishing company owned by Tencent In one of the cases, the court ruled against the propaganda department’s request, saying that it did not hold rights to Gao Fengshan, a movie about the life of late comedian Gao Fengshan, who specialised in “cross talk”, a kind of traditional Chinese comedy involving a pair of comedians. The court found that the original copyright holder transferred exclusive copyright to a third party, but later also transferred copyright to a company named Linfeng Hongda, from which the film centre obtained the rights. As such, the court found that the film centre’s claim to the rights did not stand. It is not the first time the propaganda department has taken court action over unauthorised use of its movies. In 2019, it sued Beijing-based Sohu over similar infringements for 25 movies, and asked for 1.25 million yuan in compensation. The Beijing Internet Court ruled in December last year that Sohu should pay the film centre 310,000 yuan in compensation. The film centre was originally part of China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, the country’s top media censor, but its operations were handed over to the central propaganda department in 2018 as part of a government restructuring. Before then, the department had launched hundreds of similar copyright lawsuits over the years, but the number of such cases dropped to fewer than 10 per year after 2018, according to Chinese media outlet the Economic Observer News .