The Last Emperor’s image rights cannot be owned

January 2007


The brother of the last Emperor of China, Aisin Giorro Pu yi, has lost a claim to protect his late brother’s image rights. Jin Youhzi (originally Aisin Giorro Pu Ren, now aged 88) filed the suit in Bejing saying that an official exhibition in the Forbidden City on his brothers life who ruled China from boyhood till his forced abdication in 1911 “violated the image rights of the deceased and hurt Pu Yi’s survivors”. The exhibition was in the former imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Jin’s case which asked for the exhibition’s closure, the payment of legal costs and apologies by organizers to be printed in five national newspapers was first rejected on July 14 by the Beijing Dongcheng District People’s Court before the appeal went to Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court. The appellate court found against the claimant saying that Pu Yi was a public figure whose life was closely connected with China’s history and these rights were in the public domain.

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