Apple faces another legal battle over e-books, after previously facing allegations of price-fixing and now hosting pirated works.
A lawsuit has been filed against Apple by a group of Chinese writers alleging that pirated versions of their work are being sold on its App Store.
The nine writers are seeking compensation of around 11.9 million yuan ($1.22million), as well as ceasing sales of the 37 literary works that are allegedly pirated.
The Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court has accepted the case. The nine writers are part of the China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS), which has previously sued Google over its Google Books database.
The group began contacting Apple in July regarding the pirated e-books, asking for them to be removed. Apple has so far refused.
Apple stated that the group did not have "enough evidence" to support the claims that the works were illegally pirated. Apple have declined to comment on the issue, as has the CWWCS.
Bei Zhicheng, an executive for the group said it plans to file another lawsuit after January on behalf of ten more authors over sales of pirated e-books.
"Every month, we are finding new pirated content on the App Store," Bei said. Other writers have also contacted Apple in the past about removing pirated e-books from Apple's App Store, a process that can take several months.
"It will often take two to three months before the pirated product is cancelled. But then eventually a new pirated version will appear on the App store," Bei added.
The group estimates that some of the pirated e-books hosted on the App Store have reached over a million downloads, and the store takes a 30 percent cut of downloads on the platform.
According to Bei Apple has told the group to contact the developers who are selling the e-books, but that information is often not provided.
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