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King & Capital Lawyers Led by Senior Partner Catherine Guo Successfully Obains a No Prosecution Decision for Famous Audio Platform on a Suspected Copyright Infringement Crime
Released on:2020-03-26
King & Capital's senior litigation partner Catherine Guo successfully led a litigation team at obtaining the procuratorate decision of "Non-Prosecution" for a prominent audio platform client. The client, a renowned domestic audio platform operating company headquartered in Shanghai, was suspected and placed under investigation by the police for suspicion of committing a copyright crime.

In July 2018, the police of a Sichuan city apprehended Chairman Zhang, the chief executive of the company, at his Shanghai headquarters.  The officers of Economic Crime Investigation Bureau of Shanghai Police, according to the criminal procedural laws, cooperated to question Zhang on the suspicion that his company had committed a copyright crime.  The police interrogation arose from a report lodged by an entertainment information technology company against Zhang's company.  The report alleged that in 2016, Zhang's company had uploaded 13 audiobooks onto its website and that it had violated the owner's copyright, and the number of clicks was over 10 million.

On the same afternoon of the interrogation, the police entered Zhang's company to conduct an investigation and examine the company's records.  Over a two-week investigation period, the police collected a large amount of the company's back-end data and interrogated more than a dozen managers and employees. The company provided proof of its copyright in 11 works. However, the police detained an employee for failing to furnish the copyright of two remaining audiobooks.

Zhang's company immediately engaged King & Capital’s Senior Litigation Partner Catherine Guo.  Lawyer Guo devised a forensic litigation plan and assembled her litigation team, which included lawyers Xu Ying, Jin Yi and Qi Xiaoling.

Guo and her team conducted a forensic examination to gather the critical facts of the case and assess the evidence. The team examined whether there was a basis for a criminal charge.  The group examined the company's records, evaluated and assessed critical evidence, verified reports, and also reviewed statistical data and checked notarizations.

Besides conducting a forensic examination, the team also began developing a legal strategy—based on researching the law and evaluating potential legal issues.  The team examined and evaluated over 1,000 similar cases and court judgments.   In preparation for a trial, Guo and her litigation team organized experts on criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, intellectual property, and law enforcement issues to provide a comprehensive legal opinions.  The team also evaluated legal questions concerning jurisdiction, conviction, and sentencing.
The alleged commission of a copyright crime involved legal issues concerning intellectual property laws.  Guo and her team focused on researching the law on this leading-edge intellectual property law matter.  In particular, attorney Guo and her team examined such issues- the definition of a crime in the context of copyright infringement,  the actual number of internet clicks and their legal consequences under copyright laws, including the boundary lines among civil liability, administrative penalties and criminal responsibility for intellectual property infringement, and the forms and scope of punishment.

Guo and her team actively communicated and cooperated with the law enforcement authorities and the procuratorate.  The lawyer team also submitted relevant materials to the police and procuratorate and traveled to Sichuan several times for communication with the case handling agency.

The investigation process, the research process, and formulation of a legal strategy, the discussions, and negotiations with the police and procuratorate proceeded over a period of a year.  The case was returned twice for supplementary investigation, and the time limit for the prosecution was extended twice. On October 11, 2019, the procurator delivered the "Notice of Non-Prosecution" to the client company and the relevant employee.

Guo and her litigation team also worked diligently to obtain the release of the detained employee.  The procuratorate decided not to arrest the employee, releasing him after detaining him for 37 days.

Senior Litigation Partner Catherine Guo and her litigation team, including lawyers Xu Ying, Jin Yi and Qi Xiaoling, is an example of King & Capital’s dedication and commitment to pursuing excellence in the representation of clients in criminal and litigation matters.