Why Pirated Eileen Chang Books Are Everywhere
(Southern Metropolis Daily) The Case of Alleged Copyright Violation: Why Pirated Eileen Chang Books Are Everywhere. By Tian Zhiling. October 28, 2007.
On September 8, 1995, the talented writer Eileen Chang was found dead lying on a canvas bed in an apartment in Los Angeles, USA. According to the medical examiner, she had been dead three or four days already when found. Apart from a copy of the will mailed to Lin Shitong three years before (in February 1992), Eileen Chang left no word. She did not foresee that she would leave behind a massive fortune that led to copyright disputes. She did not foresee that her will would become an endless controversy.
1. The copyright claims of Crown Press are questioned
On September 5, 2007, twelve mainland publishers issued a "joint declaration" in "News Publishing Daily" in which they question the validity of Crown Press (Taiwan)'s claim of owning the copyright to the Eileen Chang copyrights. The declaration stated: "Recently, we found out that Crown Press (Taiwan) is holding an unregistered copy of a will that Eileen Chang has personally stated is 'no longer valid.'" As proof, they offered the February 17, 1992 letter written by Eileen Chang and her estate executive Lin Shitong's essay <Fortunate to have known Eileen Chang>, both of which were published in Crown Press's 1996 book <Magnificence and Bleakness>.
The twelve publishers include Wenhui Publishers, Zhejiang Literature Publishers, Chinese Drama Publishers, Cultural Literature Publishers, Jinghua Publishers, Huashan Literature, Publishers, Chinese Huaqiao Publishers, Jiangsu Literature Publishers, Hunan Literature Publishers and Economic Daily News Publishers. Since the end of 2006, Crown Press has sued six of these publishers for copyright violation for ten book titles and asked that each publisher pay 500,000 yuan in damages. It is alleged that Crown Press intends to sue another dozen more publishers.
When the news about the lawsuit got out, the media were stirred up. On September 27, Crown Press (Taiwan) made a public rebuttal on the charges from the twelve publishers. The core of the debate revolves around two points: First, did the will of Eileen Chang go through the proper legal procedures to become legally valid? Second, if valid, does Eileen Chang's possessions include the copyrights.
The Eileen Chang study expert Jin Hongda is the editor of <The Collected Works of Eileen Chang> published by Anhui Literature Publishers and he has been sued by Crown Press for publishing Huaqiao Publishers' <The Supplement to the Collected Works of Eileen Chang>. Therefore, he played an important role in the declaration.
Jin Hongda told our reporter: "The letter of Eileen Chang and Lin Shitong's memorial essay stated clearly that Eileen Chang sent her will to Lin Shitong and asked whether he was willing to become the executor. If so, the will would be registered. At the time, Lin Shitong did not respond and Eileen Chang did not register. Therefore, this will is no longer valid because one procedural step is missing." Crown Press's lawyer Wang Yun said that this allegation is "deliberately misrepresenting the will and making unreasonable arguments."
At present, both sides are waiting for the court's decision. Once again, Eileen Chang's will and her copyrights have become the center of attention for everybody.
2. Is Lin Shitong the Estate Executor?
On February 14, 1992, Eileen Chang wrote down her Last Will and Testament in the state of California (USA) with two points: "First, when I pass away, I bequeath all my possessions to Stephen and Mae Soong. Second, I wish to be cremated immediately. My ashes shall not be stored, but they shall be spread over a desolate site. If on land, it should be spread widely across an uninhabited area."
Under the "estate executor" section, Eileen Chang put down the name of her Los Angeles friend Lin Shitong. Thirteen days later, Eileen Chang mailed a copy of her will to Lin Shitong. In her letter, she explained that she wanted to ask her uncle to represent her in mainland China and therefore needed a power-of-attorney form. Along the way, she went to the stationery store and purchased a will form. "So that any remaining money does not go to the government." In her letter, Eileen Chang told Lin Shitong: "I'm sorry that I did not ask you. I have included a copy for your reference. Please do not return it to me. The good thing is that the will only costs US$20. If there are problems, then I will set up a new will and this one will be superseded. Apart from some bank savings, I don't have anything valuable. It is very simple. If there is not enough money, Stephen and Mae Soong will make up the difference. Please let me know by calling me in the evening at 477-9453. If this is okay, I will register it."
Lin Shitong was a construction engineer in the United States. Through the introduction of Chuang Zhengxin, he got to know Eileen Chang. Later, Lin became the "agent" for finding apartments for Eileen Chang. According to <Fortunate to have known Eileen Chang>, Eileen Chang was scared of fleas in her last years and kept switching apartments in order to avoid the fleas that were causing her skin diseases. She moved among motels in Los Angeles, changing one every month on the average. Lin Shitong kept finding apartments and motels for her. The first time that Lin Shitong heard Eileen Chang spoke English was when he accompanied her to sign a new apartment lease contract.
As for that will, Lin Shitong recalled later in <Fortunate to have known Eileen Chang>: "... Eileen Chang sent over a letter with a will attached. After I read it, I thought that she was such a strange person to send me a will ... the will mentioned Stephen Soong, whom I don't know. The letter did not include their contact information. It only said that if I didn't want to be the executor, she would find someone else. I thought that this was not real. Wasn't Eileen Chang doing just fine? My mother is a lot older than her and she is doing just fine ... therefore, I put the letter aside and I did not reply to her. But to Eileen Chang, my non-response meant tacit acceptance. Afterwards, we never brought up this subject again. I almost forgot about it. In retrospect, if I knew how much trouble was involved in executing the will, I would have called her up to discuss, at the very least."
Three years passed. On September 8, 1995, Eileen Chang was found dead at her residence. The American female landlord immediately called Lin Shitong, because this is the only friend of Eileen Chang Reyher that she knew. Lin Shitong came over and saw the 75-year-old Eileen Chang lying peacefully on a canvas bed with her head facing the door. Her arms and legs were naturally placed and she appeared peaceful, except that she was quite emaciated. How to deal with Eileen Chang's affairs? Lin Shitong remembered the letter from Eileen Chang three years ago.
With the assistance of a lawyer, Lin Shitong carried out the contents of the will. He sent her possessions in more than a dozen medium-size boxes to Stephen Soong in Hong Kong, and he arranged for the cremation of Eileen Chang's body in Los Angeles. On the day of Eileen Chang's birthday (September 30), Lin Shitong and several other literary friends took the ashes of Eileen Chang and scattered them into the Pacific ocean mixed with red and white roses.
Yet, twelve years later, twelve mainland Chinese publishers detected "questionable points" in Lin Shitong's essay <Fortunate to have known Eileen Chang> and the letter from Eileen Chang to Lin Shitong. Jin Hongda believed that the legal process for the will had not been completed. Eileen Chang wrote "If this is inconvenient for you, I will write another will and this one becomes invalid." She also demanded Lin Shitong's response. But Lin Shitong never responded to Eileen Chang and she never registered the will. Therefore, this is an invalid will.
Crown Press's lawyer Wang Yun said that "this was a deliberate attempt to distort the true meaning of the words of Eileen Chang and Lin Shitong." He quoted Lin Shitong's essay: "But for Eileen Chang, my non-response would mean tacit acceptance" as well as Eileen Chang's March 12, 1992 letter to the Soong that "Lin Shitong agreed to become the executor" as evidence. He also pointed out that page 76 in Crown Press's <Magnificence and Bleakness> has Lin Shitong saying that he had executed faithfully all the requirements in Eileen Chang's will -- immediate cremation, scattering of the ashes in the ocean, sending the possessions to the Soong and so on. Lin Shitong also wrote: "I did everything that she wrote on the will. She would have approved what I did from the heavens above."
Wang Yun asserts: "Eileen Chang appointed Lin Shitong as her estate executor and he carried out all the duties of the will executor. This series of facts is very clear." Publisher Zhi An believes that neither side has sufficient proof and legal professionals should obtain more valid information about Eileen Chang's will in the United States.
3. Why was her estate given to Stephen Soong and Crown Press?
The twelve publishers all have a common question: In her will, why didn't Eileen Chang leave her possessions to her younger brother in Shanghai or the husband of her aunt, or even the daughter of her husband Ferdinand Reyher? Instead, she left her possessions to a friend in Hong Kong? Researcher Zhi An pointed out that apart from the validity of her will, Eileen Chang has a deep historical relationship with the Stephen Soong and Crown Press.
In July 1952, 32-year-old Eileen Chang left Shanghai and went back to Hong Kong University to "resume her studies which had been interrupted by the war." At the time, not many people know who Eileen Chang was. When she passed through customs, a young cadre started to scrap at her golden braces earnestly before declaring that they were only gold-plated. Thus, Eileen Chang was able to enter Hong Kong and found a translation job at the United States Information Services where she wrote the <Rice Sprout Song> and <Naked Earth> as well as getting acquainted with the Soongs.
Stephen Soong graduated from the Yenching University Western Literature Department. He was the director of the Translation Centre at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and he is known for his accomplishments in literary translations and criticisms and the study of <Dream of Red Chamber>. The Soong couple loved literature and got along with Eileen Chang. They became lifelong fans.
Zhi An said: "In 1955, Eileen Chang departed for the United States and got married to Ferdinand Reyher." She wanted to write in English, but her works were not being accepted. From 1956, with the help of Stephen Soong, Eileen Chang wrote a dozen screenplays for Cathay Motion Pictures."
Eileen Chang and Stephen Soong maintained a correspondence over a long time. Many of her works were went to Stephen Soong for review. In the book <Nightmare on the Red Chamber>, Eileen Chang wrote about her correspondence with Stephen Soong about her own progress. Eileen Chang's novel <Classmates> was published recently through her correspondence with Stephen Soong.
An important person who contributed to the fame of Eileen Chang in the second half of the twentieth century was C.T. Hsia. Based upon the recommendation of Stephen Soong, C.T. Hsia began to read the works of Eileen Chang. Zhi An said: "In the publication of the works of Eileen Chang in the 1960's by Crown Press, Stephen Soong played a critical role as the liaison person. Crown Press paid a relatively high fee for her works, and that guaranteed Eileen Chang a relatively decent life in the United States. During Eileen Chang's life, Crown Press published her collected works twice based upon her personally edited versions. Apart from the validity of her will, it is a fact that Eileen Chang has more than forty years of friendship with Stephen Soong and more than thirty years of business relationship with Crown Press."
In 1996, Crown Press published the novel <The Bitter Woman> by Eileen Chang. Since then, almost all of the works of Eileen Chang were published by Crown Press. In 1996, Crown Press published <Rice Sprout Song>, <Collected Short Stories by Eileen Chang> and <Rumors>. IN 1967, Crown Press published <The Relationship of Half a Lifetime>. During the 1970's and 1980's, Crown Press published <Zhang's Views>, <Nightmare of Red Chamber>, <The Sing-song Girls of Shanghai>, <Notes of Regret>, <Remaining Notes> and <Remaining Chapters>. Crown Press also published the <Completed works of Eileen Chang>. Zhi An said: "On account of this history, the Soongs assigned all the copyrights to Crown Press less than one year after Eileen Chang's death."
On January 1, 1996, Stephen and Mae Soong used an authorization letter, a publishing letter and power-of-attorney to give global rights for the publication, distribution, re-publishing and dissemination of the works of Eileen Chang exclusively to Crown Press for perpetuity.
In February 1996, Crown Press publisher Ping Xintao and his son Ping Yun went to meet with Stephen Soong in Hong Kong about the disposition of the possessions of Eileen Chang. Stephen Soong considered that there were so many Eileen Chang fans in Taiwan, and decided to choose "Taiwan as the final place for the possessions of Eileen Chang." "Apart from certain personal correspondence of Eileen Chang and clothing," all other possessions were shipped to Crown Press at the end of February 1996. Over the next few years, Crown Press held many Eileen Chang exhibits to showcase her possessions and works.
On December 3, 1996, Stephen Soong passed away and his assets were given to the widow Mae Soong. On August 30, 2002 and October 17, 2002, Mae Soong signed two authorizations: all rights to edit, publish and distribute the works of Eileen Chang were to be assigned forever globally to Crown Press. From thereon, Crown Press would be responsible for defending the copyrights of Eileen Chang everywhere.
In the joint declaration of the twelve mainland Chinese publishers, Eileen Chang's younger brother Zhang Zijing was still alive in Shanghai and therefore he should be the legal inheritor of the Eileen Chang estate. But Zhi An pointed out that her brother had no idea that she left Shanghai. In 1983, Zhang Zijing eventually made contact with her sister Eileen Chang in America and she only back wrote one letter in which the main point was that she could not send money to her brother: "I can barely get by, and I have no means of assisting you."
Apart from doubting the validity of Eileen Chang's will, the twelve publishers also brought up another issue: Did Eileen Chang's will about her possessions include her copyrights?
Jin Hongda said that based upon the correspondence between Lin Shitong and Stephen after Eileen Chang's demise, she did not speak of her copyrights at all. In the letter dated February 27, 1992 to Lin Shitong, Eileen Chang asked him to become her will executor and stated clearly: "Apart from some money in my bank savings account, I have nothing else. It is very simple."
In the March letter to Stephen Soong, Eileen Chang mentioned how she wanted to deal with her possessions: "If there is any money left: First, please pay some experts to translate; publish the unpublished works; ... Second, buy yourselves something as memorabilia. If there is more money left, I don't want to establish a foundation." Jin Hongda believes that Eileen Chang made no mention of her copyrights. As intangible assets, they must be appraised by the relevant departments and assessed estate taxes.
On this point, Crown Press's lawyer Wang Yun described it as "absurdity." He said that the notarized will of Eileen Chang clearly indicated that "all my possessions go to Stephen and Mae Soong." Legally speaking, this includes all tangible and intangible assets. It does not matter whether one consults any English legal dictionary or follow western custom, one has to reach that same conclusion.
4. There are 50 pirate versions of Eileen Chang works
Crown Cress obtained the copyrights to Eileen Chang's works in 1996. In March 1997, it authorized Huacheng Publishers to publish the eleven volume <Collected works of Eileen Chang>. Later, it authorized the Shanghai Antiquity Publishers to issue three Eileen Chang scholarly works: <The Nightmare of Red Chamber> and <The Sing-song Girls of Shanghai, Volumes 1 and 2>. Lawyer Wang Yun said: "Crown Press authorized mainland publishers such as the Shanghai Antiquity Publishers, Harbin Publishers, Tianjin People's Publishers and Beijing October Literature Publisher to publish books. But there has always been a large numger of unauthorized published works of Eileen Chang in mainland China." No Eileen Chang researcher can state for certain just how many Eileen Chang books have been pirated in mainland China.
Eileen Chang's msot famous works appeared between 1943 and 1945 during the era of the war of resistance against the Japanese. After the 1950's, the works of Eileen Chang vanished in mainland literature.
The first time when the mainland Chinese came cross public discussion of Eileen Chang was Zhang Baoxin's November 1981 article <The Legend of Eileen Chang> in <Wenhui Monthly>. In the mid 1980's, <Harvest> published <Love In A Fallen City>. The writer Ke Ling wrote <A Remote Message to Eileen Chang> and C.T. Hsia's <The Modern History of Chinese Literature> generated popular interest in reading Eileen Chang. The January 1985 <Zhang's Views> from the Shanghai bookstore was the first published work of Eileen Chang. In 1986, the People's Publishers issued <Legend>. In retrospect, none of these works were authorized. The work that truly made Eileen Chang popular was the <Collected Works of Eileen Chang> from Anhui Publishers in 1992. For the first time, the totality of the works of Eileen Chang was presented to mainland Chinese readers.
The editor of that work was Jin Hongda, who is a Eileen Chang specialist. He told our reporter that he was already writing a dissertation about Eileen Chang in the late 1970's. "In 1992, we worked through the Ke Ling connection and connected with Eileen Chang's aunt's husband Li Kaidi. We obtained the authorization of Eileen Chang. At the time, the royalty fees were low at about a few dozen yuan per thousand words. Eileen Chang did not accept the money herself. She authorized the publications in order to assist her relatives in mainland China."
According to the recollections of Anhui Publishers chief editor Fei Xian, they had originally treated Eileen Chang as an odd bet. At first, they printed only 3,000 copies. "Then she became popular and the publisher kept re-printing. The pirates also kept printing. Ultimately, we printed one or two hundred thousand copies. The pirates probably printed several times more than we did."
In the <Unfinished Legend>, Chen Yizhen pointed out that Eileen Chang once authorized her aunt's husband Li Kaidi to handle the mainland Chinese copyrights. "But the pirated editions proliferated, and there were more than thirty versions of Eileen Chang's works. When Eileen Chang found out, she was displeased. Li Kaidi asked to be relieved of his duties on grounds of old age." According to Eileen Chang specialist Chen Zishan said that Li Kaidi basically authorized Anhui Publisher's <Collected works of Eileen Chang>, Shanghai Literature Publisher's <Eileen Chang's Unusual Novels> and Zhejiang Publisher's <The Complete Collection of the Essays of Eileen Chang>.
Pei Shanming recalled that Crown Press objected to Anhui Publisher's <Collected Works of Eileen Chang>. They issued a letter of protest to Anhui Publishers to the effect that Crown Press has the right to manage the Chinese editions of the works of Eileen Chang, including the simplified character editions. "The protest did not achieve the desired effect. They spoke to us about collaborating but it was not about the four collections that we chose. Therefore, we did not reach an agreement." Ultimately, Crown Press asked for no more reprints after the authorized period ended.
Until Crown Press obtained the perpetual rights of publication in 1996, there had already been numerous pirated copies of the works of Eileen Chang. Dalian Publishers printed the sixteen volumes of <The Complete Works of Eileen Chang> without authorization, but that was later banned. Crown Press authorized Huacheng Publishers to issue the eleven volumes of the <Collected Works of Eileen Chang>. In 2003, Crown Press authorized Harbin Publishers to publish the <Treasured Complete Works of Eileen Chang>. In 2007, Crown Press authorized Beijing October Publishers to issue the six volume <Collected Works of Eileen Chang> edited by Chen Zishan.
In the meantime, there were large numbers of unauthorized publications of the works of Eileen Chang: Huaqiao Publisher's Eileen Chang series including four works by Eileen Chang; Wenhui Publishing's <Red Rose and White Rose>, China Drama Publishers' <The Bitter Woman>, China Drama Publisher's <The Completed Works of Eileen Chang>. Jinghua Publisher's included unauthorized works of Eileen Chang in its series famous classical works by famous writers. As for individual titles and works collected along with other writers, they are innumerable. In 2005, Crown Press workers found no less than 50 different unauthorized published works by Eileen Chang.
Wang Yun said that Crown Press issued a statement about copyrights in 2003 and stated clearly that opposes the copyright violations by the various publishers. In 2005, Crown Press initiated a legal complaint against Economic News Daily Publishers. But most publishers ignored the action. "The Jinghua Publisher and the Wenhui Publisher published books in violation of the copyrights in 2005."
Netizen Ah Guo is a fan of Eileen Chang. In his blog, he wrote in anger: "The Eileen Chang books that I have on hand are on all contrabands ... basically, the various editions of the works of Eileen Chang are pirated. Eileen Chang has become a person from the northern Song dynasty."
Research Zhi An believes: "Eileen Chang has been dead for only ten years. Even if her copyrights do not belong to Crown Press, it belongs to someone. Any unauthorized publication is a copyright violation. When these publishers say that they want to donate the royalties to establish some kind of organization, I feel that this is not meaningful legally speaking."
5. Crown Press seeks close to 1 million yuan in damages from mainland publishers.
Faced with the many copyright violation cases on mainland China, Crown Press tried to "clean up the mainland Chinese market before entering." At the time, Huacheng Publishers and Shanghai Antiquity Publishers had just reached the end of their three-year authorized period, and Harbin Publisher was just given the rights to publish the fourteen volumes of the <Treasured Collected Works of Eileen Chang>.
On July 18, 2003, Crown Press asked Harbin Publishers to issue the statement: "Harbin Publisher has obtained the sole legal rights for the works of Eileen Chang. All other mainland Chinese illegal publishers which publish, distribute or sell the works must cease their copyright violations immediately." In September, Crown Press boss Ping Xintao also declared that Crown Press owns the rights to all of the works of Eileen Chang.
Lawyer Wang Yun pointed out that these announcements did not have any obvious effects. Afterwards, "the copyright violations by the publishers became more hidden and cunning," such as not stating the printed quantities, or publishing the books in the annotated forms, or combining with the works of other authors, etc.
In October 2005, Crown Press sued Economic Daily News Publishers in the Number One Middle People's Court in Beijing for the illegal publication of <Red Rose and White Rose>, <Zhang's Views> and <Legend>. After court trials at two different levels, the Beijing Supreme People's Court ruled on June 15, 2006 that Economic Daily News must cease its copyright violations as well as pay damages to the amount of 400,000 yuan.
At the end of 2006, Crown Press sued six publishers for ten illegally published books. The complaint asked the publishers to cease their copyright violations, return the copies in the warehouse, destroy the master copies and print plates and pay damages to the amount of 500,000 yuan per book.
Wang Yun said that the amount of 500,000 yuan was brought up because most of the books did not have stated quantities, or else the stated quantities were far lower than the normal amount. "For example, China Drama Publishers said that it had printed 1,000 copies of <Rumors> and <Remaining Notes> and claimed that only 600 or so copies were distributed. But in the lawsuit, Bertelsmann alone was provided with 1,200 copies. Based upon Chinese law, when the rights owner cannot establish the actual number of books sold, he has to right to ask for compensation amount of 500,000 yuan or less. A basic principle of law is that 'nobody is entitled to profit from rights violation.' Not only must the rights violator cease its violations, it must accept responsibility in making economic compensation."
Crown Press claims that it does not receive a cent from any of the compensation paid as a result of these copyright violation cases. Instead, everything goes to Mae Fong Soong, the wife of Stephen Soong and the owner of the rights of the works of Eileen Chang. Furthermore, "the nonchalance and indifference of the twelve mainland Chinese publishers are absolutely incredible in the eyes of overseas publishers and they present a negative view about mainland Chinese publishing. Crown Press can only pursue the legal options to protect the legal rights of the works of Eileen Chang."
6. She was not concerned about the prosperity about her death
Eileen Chang researchers Chen Zishan and Zhi An both said that Eileen Chang was inattentive towards the management of her copyrights. Chen Zishan said: "She kept making a mess out of her affairs." Zhi An said, "Eileen Chang is an unusual type of person who does not care about the things that we care about. It is entirely possible that she did not have a legally perfect will."
Apart from the will stating that "all my possessions go to Stephen and Mae Fong Soong," all of the letters and documents of Eileen Chang show no indication that she had any specific explanation or arrangement about her intellectual property rights. Chen Zishan said that Eileen Chang became popular several years before her death and fanatic fans began to appear. The famous Eileen Chang fan Dai Wencai even picked through her garbage. "She should have realized that her works will be valuable after her death, but she did not."
Zhi An thought that this aspect of Eileen Chang's personality is easy to understand. She was lonely in her final years, she did not open her mailbox for two years and she did not have any friends. She moved constantly to evade fleas and her skin diseases, discarding all her furniture. Lin Shitong wrote that Eileen Chang did not even have a bed at home, and she only wrote on top of cardboard boxes. "I frequently said that it was absurd to believe that Eileen Chang became petty bourgeois. How can the petty bourgeoisie live such a life?" She exiled herself to a place that you cannot possibly go. Normal people cannot do that."
"On the other hand, you have to admit that it is the glory of a writer to become such a fanatic." Zhi An said that the reason why there is such a mass-scale phenomenon of copyright violations is because Eileen Chang is far too "popular." The key is that she has a very large group of Eileen Chang fans.
Zhi An said that among contemporary Chinese writers, no one has as many fans as Eileen Chang. Her influence is divided into many levels: there is the Eileen Chang school and there are the Eileen Chang fans. The Eileen Chang school included the many writers that she influenced, such as Zhu Tianxin and Zhu Tianwen of Taiwan, who imitated her writing style faithfully. Thus, Wang Dewei proclaimed Eileen Chang as the Grandmother Grandmistress while Jia Pingao once said, "It is my fortune to exist in the same world with Eileen Chang."
Next, Eileen Chang has a dedicated group of readers in the world of literature. Zhi An said: "I belong to the second type of people. I have read every word of Eileen Chang. As Hu Lancheng said, I think everything from Eileen Chang is good. More than a decade ago, I read <The Eighteenth Spring> and <The Relationship of Half a Lifetime> in parallel word by word, sentence by sentence. At the third level, there is the general public. The white collar university students belong to this level. Some of Eileen Chang's sayings such as 'be famous early' and 'a little evil, a little bad' are loved by young people. I once went to a university to talk about Eileen Chang, and people were sitting behind me and by my feet. The meeting room was packed."
Zhi An believes that a writer has two types of readers, one could be called literary readers and the other are the social readers. The former loves the works of the writer and the characters and therefore they read the goods. These are the Eileen Chang fans. The other type of people are also called Eileen Chang fans, who buy every book by Eileen Chang even though they don't necessarily read it. "Some university or secondary school students don't know what Eileen Chang wrote, but they know that Ang Lee made the movie <Lust, Caution>. So they go to the bookstore and purchase a copy. This latter type of people makes the number of readers swell and expand the copyright incomes. Unless a writer has this latter type of readers, she cannot sell too many books. This type of people did not exist while Eileen Chang was still alive."
Zhi An concluded that when Eileen Chang handed all her possessions to the Soongs, she did not realize that her works would involve such wealth. "I don't feel that she thought that she was giving any wealth to Stephen Soong."
Eileen Chang obviously did not think or care about the prosperity about her death. The "Eileen Chang fanatic fan" designer Deng Kunyan once said: "When you have an Eileen Chang, you do whatever you have to do at the right time." This saying is very appropriate to those publishers who profited from Eileen Change. A publishing insider said that there is almost no risk involved in publishing the works of Eileen Chang. Apart from the works of Eileen Chang, her biographies are also popular. Shangdong Picture News published <Romance of the brilliant Eileen Chang>, Fudan University Press published <Genuis female writer -- Eileen Chang>, Shaanxi People's Publishers published <Talented woman in a world of chaos -- Eileen Chang>, Shanghai Literature Publishers published <Eileen Chang in America -- Marriage and Later Years>, Guangming Daily Publishing published <The Re-appearance of the Rose: The Eileen Chang Photograph Album>, etc.
In recent years, Eileen Chang continued to be hot through the appearance of previously unpublished works such as <The Classmates> and <The Fragance of Flowers>. Movie adaptations also fan the popularity. Ann Hui's <Love In A Fallen City> and <The Relationship of Half a Lifetime>, Guan Jinpeng's <Red Rose and White Rose>, Hou Xiaoxian's <Flowers of the Sea> and the recent <Lust, Caution> from Ang Lee all brought another wave of Eileen Chang reading. October Literature Publishing recently obtained the rights to <Lust, Caution>. Zhi An said that a friend who never reads Eileen Chang books borrowed this book from him to read. Eileen Chang has become a top brand, as well as a disaster area for copyright violations.