In a development that could further inflame Hollywood’s frustrations with unauthorized reproduction of its intellectual property in China, Chinese netizens are accusing CCTV of repurposing footage from the movie “Top Gun” for use in a news story about an air force training exercise.

As noted yesterday by the blog Ministry of Tofu, the alleged IPR violation, spotted by Internet user “Liu Yi,” took place during a November 23rd evening news broadcast. CCTV has removed the clip in question from its website, but a copy of the broadcast posted on Chinese video sites does reveal some striking similarities.

CCTV typically posts the full evening news broadcast online, along with individual clips of each story, but a check today of the CCTV website for January 23 revealed only the individual clips. The full broadcast is missing and there is no link to the air force training story.

This wouldn’t be the first time Chinese media have been caught appropriating fictional material from the U.S. for use in news. In 2002, the popular Beijing Evening News tabloid translated and published as genuine a satirical news article by The Onion about U.S. Congress threatening to leave Washington D.C. unless the city built them a new building with a retractable roof. Five years later, the state-run Xinhua news agency infamously used an x-ray image of Homer Simpson’s head to illustrate a story about the discovery of a genetic link to multiple sclerosis.

Contacted by China Real Time, a media relations representative in CCTV’s foreign affairs office, Yin Fan, said the broadcaster had no immediate comment on the accusations.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal