Monday, January 15, 2007

Man gets $256 for nuisance text messages

A court has ordered a Chinese television production company to pay damages to a man who received more than 3,000 nuisance messages after his mobile phone number was used in a police TV drama.

The court said the Runshi Rongguang Film Production Co. should have made sure the number was not in use before having a villain say it aloud on-screen, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The company was ordered to pay $256 to the mobile phone customer, Chen Bing.

Chen, 39, says he started receiving a stream of text messages in July 2004.

"It was so annoying, and for a long time I wondered why I was getting all these text messages," he said.

Chen discovered that his number had been used in a TV series called "Chinese Police — September Storm," broadcast between 2004-06 and later released on DVD. A villain spoke the number slowly, to allow another character to write it down.

The company said it made up the number from a staff member's birthday and did not mean to cause trouble, according to Xinhua.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press.

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