Hangzhou sets up research institute on internet-related disputes

(chinadaily.com.cn)      Updated : 2018-10-31

A research institute on internet-related disputes and improving quality of such cases was established in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, on Tuesday.

The institute, located in the Hangzhou Internet Court, will be an internationally academic platform to increase cooperation and communication on how to solve internet cases among courts, internet enterprises, colleges and internet administrations, according to a statement of the Supreme People's Court.

The institute, jointly set up by the court, the provincial law society and the Hangzhou government, is also to be a database of internet cases to further help legal specialists and judges to search and study, it added.

The Hangzhou Internet Court, the country's first court specializing in internet-related disputes, was established on Aug 18, 2017. In September this year, another two such courts were open respectively in Beijing and Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

All the three internet courts are to cater to the increasing number of line disputes in recent years and to increase efficiency of the case hearings. The courts are ordered to run the proceedings largely online, which mean filing lawsuits, mediation, evidence exchange, case hearing and ruling announcement will all be conducted through a customized internet platform.

Under the top court's judicial interpretation, the courts mainly hear cases regarding the internet and intellectual property rights, including disputes caused by online loans, online shopping contracts and online copyright.

On Tuesday, for example, Beijing Internet Court's president Zhang Wen heard a lawsuit initiated by Douyin. The high-profile smartphone application for users to upload and watch short videos claimed that one of its videos was downloaded and broadcast on another online platform without its permission, which damaged the video maker's online copyright.

Douyin requested the court to order the defendant to stop the infringement and pay a 1-million yuan ($145,755) in fine, according to the court.

The trial on Tuesday was conducted through the court's online platform, with neither the plaintiff nor the defendant coming to the court. Instead, they showed up on the platform, exchanged their views and evidence online.

The court said it would announce the ruling at a later date.