Walt Disney Co. has joined forces with five other media heavyweights to file piracy lawsuits in China against a handful of stores for selling pirated material.


The suits, filed in Beijing last week and in late August, are against a store in Beijing named Feng Herili and the Beijing Shiji Haihong Commerce and Trade Co., accusing both organizations of willfully selling pirated material.


Sony Corp., General Electric Co., Viacom Inc., News Corp. and Time Warner Inc. participated with Disney in the legal actions. The world's largest media companies are trying to stem piracy that may top more than $1 billion a year in Asia alone, according to Bloomberg News.


The lawsuits allege the stores committed 15 to 20 violations of piracy laws for selling illegal copies of movies such as "Mr. and Mrs. Smith,'" and "The Incredibles." The studios are demanding compensation of 60,000 yuan, or about $7,500 per title, attorneys said.


Disney, Twentieth Century Fox and Universal Studios Inc. all won similar lawsuits against Shanghai-based companies more than three years ago and are hoping for similar results.

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