The drama adaptation of Siege in Fog 人生若如初相见 starring Elvis Han and Sun Yi had issues very early on. It started when the production team’s rights to produce the drama expired on March 14, 2016. As the author of the source novel, Fei Wo Si Cun expected a contract renewal since any work done on the drama without a working contract would be wrong. However, she was duly ignored, which is why she took the matters to court.
Fast forward to a year and five months later, and the verdict is out. If you want the short version, the court basically agrees that the production team infringed her rights, but still allows the production team to proceed with the drama.
It’s uncertain when the drama will actually air, but according to Fei Wo Si Cun, it won’t be anytime soon. She says on weibo, “….. we can still appeal. Furthermore, the court has clearly stated the copyright infringement, so they won’t be able to air soon. Given that it won’t be airing for the time being, I think that at the very least, I won’t have to feel the pain of being hacked to pieces…”
If you’re still reading for the longer version, copies of the court papers were uploaded to the drama’s official weibo account along with the caption, “On Sep. 5, 2017 at 2:00 p.m., the verdict was issued in the People’s Court at Dong Cheng District, Beijing. After a year and a half, the final result: reject the plaintiff’s requests. @FeiWoSiCun.”
A summary of the plaintiff’s request are as follows:
1. For the defendant to immediately halt promotions, production, filming and airing of the drama adaptation of Siege in Fog and any other works based on the novel.
2. Pay losses of RMB 15,000,000.
3. Pay the court fees.
Parts of the document were also highlighted which essentially says something to that effect. It states that even though the defendant held the opening ceremonies and filming preparations within the contract duration, but based on how long these dramas usually take to complete, the plaintiff can foresee that the production team was not going to be able to finish on time, thus increasing the likelihood for a breach of contract.
Even so, the plaintiff still sent staff to the opening ceremony. which can be taken as a silent consent and sign of good faith. In layman’s terms, I take it to mean that the court thinks it was wrong to continue working past the contract expiration date, but because Fei Wo SI Cun knew about it but still supported the opening ceremonies, it was like a nod for the production team to keep going.
Upon hearing the news, Fei Wo Si Cun took to weibo to vent her frustrations. At 5 in the morning she wrote, “Thought of my father and cried like an idiot. If dad were still here, no one would bully me for sure, if dad were still here, he would do everything to protect me. If dad were still here, why am I so lame. I am so sad, I know even if dad were alive, he wouldn’t be able to do anything, but I’m really very sad.
An hour later, she wrote, “(*)*&MB! I said bad words today! I am cussing at you! You’re the thing that’s worse than an animal! Because I had my rights infringed I’m the victim, so just because I cried when I thought of my dad, in your eyes, it’s manipulative! Get lost! Get lost! //@评论区唯一的仙女: She sure knows how to play this.”
Separately, Fei Wo Si Cun wrote a full length article here titled, “I won in court today, but lost everything.”
Wow. I am confused. Who is in the wrong here? They originally had the rights to film, but it expired?
oops i think the way i wrote it made it more confusing too (have tried to fix the post a bit). But in terms of who's in the wrong. I guess you could technically argue for both sides.. on one side, the author owns the rights so any work she does not consent too is wrong (court seems to acknowledge this). But on the other side, the production team did get the rights to the drama, but it expired before they really got to start working on the drama. Who knows whose fault it is that they started so late, but they're basically accusing the author or just wanting more money when they already poured in a lot. The court seems to sympathize with them in that regard saying that any drama takes a long time so the fact that they had a late start (which Fei Wo Si Cun knew about and still sent people to opening ceremonies) means that she's okay with it.
I would side with the production team on this. She knew it would not have finished before expiry date yet made no attempts (she would have said so if she did) tp rectify the issue until they've poured enough money in for her to hold the drama for ransom.
The production was at fault for starting so late but if the authours side didn't say anything then it was essentially a "gentleman's agreement".
What a mess, I really am hoping to see this drama so badly. It turns out that it's the drama with a court issue. I hope they can settle on something soon because it would be sad if it doesn't get released after all the hard work.