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Challenges and Distinctiveness of Media Tort in China: An Empirical Study of 800 Cases Zhu Li and Yang Huizhen 15 June 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Challenges and Distinctiveness of Media Tort in China: An Empirical Study of 800 Cases Zhu Li and Yang Huizhen 15 June 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Challenges and Distinctiveness of Media Tort in China: An Empirical Study of 800 Cases Zhu Li and Yang Huizhen 15 June 2012

2 I. Data Sources and Methodology

3 i.800 Media Tort Cases (1985~2009)

4 Infringement TypesNumberPercentage Right to reputation75895% Right to privacy284% Right to portraiture9712%

5 ii. 100 Non-media Defamation Cases 100 Non-media Defamation Cases Randomly selected from Beida Fayi (www.lawyee.net); Complete legal documents 100 Media Defamation Cases Randomly selected 600 media defamation cases from the 800 case pool 100 media defamation cases via systematic sampling VS.

6 iii. Survey on Media Professionals (N=96)

7 PositionsPercentage Reporter28% Editor24% Department Director12% Senior Executive35% Other1%

8 II. Challenges in Chinese Media Tort Litigation

9 Challenging Issue? Graph 1: Variation of Defamation Cases according to Zhongguo Falv Nianjian (China Law Yearbook) Graph 2: Variation of 800 Media Tort Cases

10 Challenging Issue? Have you ever been sued for infringement of reputation, privacy or portraiture in work? Percentage Yes, I have.8% No, but my colleagues have experienced. 51% Neither I nor my colleagues have such kind of experience. 38% Other3% Has your media organization ever been involved in reputation, privacy, or portraiture infringement lawsuits? Percentage Yes, it has.50% No. it has not.31% I have no idea.18% Other1%

11 Main Findings More co-defendants sued together Higher monetary compensation More jurisdiction at non-defendant domiciles Longer time to close a case

12 i.Longer time to close a case Average Duration 12 months Longest Time to Close a Case 12 years and 3 months (147 months)

13 ii. Higher monetary compensation Average Compensation 70,964 yuan (U.S. $11,228) Average Compensation 5 million yuan (U.S. $791,139)

14 iii. More jurisdiction at non-defendant domiciles JurisdictionPercentage Plaintiff only32% Defendant only17% Both parties40% Other12% Impact on Media

15 iii. More jurisdiction at non-defendant domiciles

16 iiii. More co-defendants sued together

17 In some situations, the number of media co- respondents can surpass 10. –Tang Jili vs. Rui Yanhong, Youth Times, Chengdu Business Daily, etc. (Defendant number:10) –Song Guanjun case (Defendant number: 100)

18 III. Distinctiveness of Media Tort in China

19 Main Findings Distinctiveness in remedies Distinctiveness in infringement behaviors Distinctiveness in defenses Distinctiveness in defendants

20 i.Distinctiveness in defendants (Note: Cases with multiple defendants are included and calculated. )

21 ii. Distinctiveness in infringement behaviors

22 Infringement by republication

23 ii. Distinctiveness in infringement behaviors Infringement by continuous report

24 iii. Distinctiveness in defenses Cases using the defense Supporting percentage Fair Comment8540% Qualified Privilege5646% Newsworthiness2924%

25 iv. Distinctiveness in remedies If media’s continuous reports have corrected or clarified preceding false statements, what type of liability do you think the media should undertake? Correction & Reply

26 iv. Distinctiveness in remedies RemediesPercentage Monetary82% Non-monetary16% Unknown2%

27 iv. Distinctiveness in remedies Comparison of Remedies between 100 Ordinary Defamation Cases and 100 Media Defamation Cases

28 IV. Conclusion

29 i.Conclusions Challenges: –Longer time to close a case –Higher monetary compensation –More jurisdiction at non-defendant domiciles –More co-defendants sued together Distinctiveness: –Distinctiveness in defendants –Distinctiveness in infringement behaviors –Distinctiveness in defenses –Distinctiveness in remedies

30 ii. Implication National legislators to take more progressive steps to clarify current judicial confusions and strike a better balance between personality rights protection and freedom of expression in laws or judicial interpretative documents.

31 iii. Limitations This is one empirical research in China. All litigation materials were collected before Survey embodies self-report answers.

32 Thank you!


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