Chinese writers win infringement case against Apple

Summary:China Written Works Copyright Society has been awarded compensation of US$68,000 in an infringement verdict against Apple, which was found to have sold rights-protected books illegally in its appstore.

The Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court has found Apple liable of copyright infringement involving eight Chinese writers, awarding them 412,000 yuan (US$68,000) in losses.

Apple was also ordered to compensate 18,000 yuan on "reasonable costs of litigation expenses", according to the court ruling announced Thursday morning. Despite the win, the awarded compensation of US$68,000 was a far cry from the 11.9 million yuan (US$1.9 million)  the authors had demanded for the copyright violation  when they first filed suit in January.

Attorney for the writer's alliance, Wang Guohua, told Sina News the ruling showed the Chinese court had confirmed Apple's infringement which excluded liability for the third-parties, but said the amount of compensation was relatively low.

Apple's attorney declined to comment on the case.

In July 2011, over 20 Chinese renowned writers found that their e-books were sold on Apple's App Store without authorization. The group asked the U.S. company to remove these pirated books but Apple refused to take action, saying the writers failed to provide sufficient materials about the infringement. 

Topics: Legal, Apple, China

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Cyrus Lee, writing under a pen name, is a Hong Kong-based reporter in an English-language newspaper and a correspondent for a radio station.

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