A Chinese company has been sued for allegedly offering copyrighted music for use as ringtones without the authorization of rights owners.

SHANGHAI -- A Chinese company has been sued for allegedly offering copyrighted music for use as ringtones without the authorization of rights owners.

Handset manufacturer Capitel Co. Ltd. was selling mobile phones that allegedly had ringtones taken from works by composers Chen Gang and He Zhanhao, both members of the Music Copyright Society of China (MCSC).

According to Chinese press agency Interfax, MCSC claims it never licensed the songs to Capitel. The body had engaged in negotiations with the handset maker, but the talks reportedly fell apart after Capitel refused to pay for use of the copyrighted works.

MCSC subsequently filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit against Capitel with the Junior People's Court in Chaoyang District, Beijing.

MCSC is China's only officially recognized music rights organization. It is headquartered in Beijing and has branches throughout the country.