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Chinese sitcom rips-off 'Friends'?

It's about friends living in two adjacent apartments in Shanghai. Hmm...
China fake ikea 08 02 11Enlarge
Customers cycle past a real Ikea shop in Chengdu, China. On the heels of the discovery of fake Apple stores in China, a store with a close resemblance to Ikea has been found, also in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming. (LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)

It's called "Ipartment." It's a Chinese television series. And now, in its third season, bloggers and tweeters and other social media-ers are saying it's a rip off "Friends." 

The Telegraph posted some viewer comments: 

"Is [Ipartment] only intended for those born after 1990, who have not watched Friends?"

"Many lines and scenes have been completely ripped off from American shows." 

Ren Haiyong, a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property told the Global Times, a daily Chinese tabloid, that "According to Chinese copyright law, translating an original work requires that one first get permission from the author. Otherwise, it may result in copyright infringement."

"We didn't copy the American sitcom," Mr. Cao, a Ipartment representative, told the Global Times. "Comedies have stereotypes, like the handsome man, the gorgeous woman, the cheap man and so on. They have that in many comedies. Our creation is not plagiarism, but more a homage to the American sitcom."

Watch this clip and decide for yourself.

Irony alert: In the video's first minute this caption appears: "Please respect out work and don't upload it on streaming site without authorization." 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/chinese-sitcom-rips-friends