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Late English teacher's wife defends husband's work
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08:50, April 16, 2008

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The wife of a late English teacher and writer is suing a Shanghai company for copying one of her husband's most popular books.

She is seeking some 620,000 yuan in compensation.

Julia Banner Alexander, the wife of Louis George Alexander, has accused Shanghai Gongxiang Education and Technology Co Ltd of illegally producing online learning computer programs and textbooks based on New Concept English, the most widely published English-language textbook for non-native learners. The Shanghai Pudong New Area District People's Court yesterday held its first hearing in the case.

Alexander is demanding the company stop the alleged infringement, pay her and make a public apology. Alexander, 60, was not present at the court.

Zhou Dezhi, her attorney, said New Concept English was first published in 1967 and revised in 1993. More than 3 million copies of the revised book have been printed in China.

In November 2006, Zhou's agency, Beijing Jinxin Lifang Law Firm, which is in charge of protecting the book's copyright in China, found the Shanghai company was selling online learning programs and books, which instruct Chinese learners how to understand and memorize the text from the book's lessons.

"For the purpose of our investigation, we bought a whole set of programs and books," Zhou said.

"They cost 1,962 yuan for each set."

Zhou presented to the court a copy of New Concept English, the allegedly illegal books, documents copied from the online programs, the writer's will and a letter from the two executors. The letter says Julia Banner Alexander inherited the copyright of the book from her late husband.

However, the company denied any infringement and said Alexander was not the inheritor of the book.

Xu Zhihui, the company's attorney, told the court that the book had not been copied.

"And according to the will, the writer's two children inherit most of his assets," he said. "Therefore the letter from the two executors is illegal."

Source: China Daily

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