Koolearn is an online platform established by New Oriental, a famous educational service provider in China, offering online courses to millions of registered users.
At the end of 2016, a large number of courses were sold at a low price of 1 RMB Yuan by 51Talk in its Tmall online store “51Talk education flagship store”, including English teaching videos belonging to Koolearn. Koolearn initiated a civil action in late 2017 against 51Talk and Tmall for copyright infringement and claimed 1.265 million Yuan’s compensation. The notarized evidence submitted by Koolearn showed the video courses at dispute all had the words of “Koolearn” and “新东方在线” in background, and most videos did not indicate the keynote teachers’ names. In January 2018, Koolearn and the keynote teachers involved issued a joint statement to the effect that all copyrights except the right of signature belong to Koolearn. As the provider of trading service platform, Tmall did not stop the infringing transactions in time and therefore should be held liable as well.
Recently, Haidian District Court issued a civil judgment that 51Talk constitutes infringement of Koolean’s right of information network communication. The court found the amount of economic loss claimed by Koolearn was too high to be supported in full, and ordered 51Talk compensate Koolearn’s economic loss of 240 thousand Yuan and reasonable expenses of 6,600 Yuan. Koolearn’s claims against Tmall, however, was not upheld by the court.