Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

Summary: Apple is being sued by a group of Chinese writers over hosting allegedly pirated versions of their work. The group is seeking around $1.22 million in compensation.

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Apple faces another legal battle over e-books, after previously facing allegations of price-fixing and now hosting pirated works.

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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Topics: Legal, Apple, Hardware, Mobility

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24 comments
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  • Wow, some pot & kettle going on there.

    So we have the supposed champion of intellectual property (Apple) -- at least given how aggresive they've been in their patent lawsuits over the past year -- telling these authors "Sorry, you'll have to go after the people that uploaded the e-books into our Apple Store"...& the only reason I can see for Apple doing this is because the authors are Chinese, & Apple's having issues with other Chinese citizens (with or without their government's tacit, if not overt, approval & support) copying Apple's software/hardware & stores.

    Pot, meet kettle.
    spdragoo@...
  • RE: Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

    So... under SOPA, would this mean the App Store would be taken down? or iCloud?
    UrNotPayingAttention
    • RE: Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

      @UrNotPayingAttention
      Yes it would be. For as the law is written is you should down the site. then it will be looked into to see if the claim is true or not.
      rparker009
    • RE: Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

      @UrNotPayingAttention - Well played.
      ejhonda
      • RE: Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

        @ejhonda

        LOL... nope, not me... the Chinese. So if (God forbid) SOPA did pass, the Chinese can say "Hey, we've been complaining about this for months!" :)

        {sigh} I still cannot decide if the Senators sponsoring SOPA are getting paid off, or are just too stvpid to understand what they're doing
        UrNotPayingAttention
  • RE: Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

    "Apple stated that the group did not have ???enough evidence??? to support the claims that the works were illegally pirated."

    So is Apple exhibiting its royalty payment receipts as proof? No???
    Kootenay Coyote
  • Isn't that precious.......

    Someone in China (you know, that country where they can't innovate anything, even if their lives depended on it - the capital of IP theft & piracy) suing someone else for piracy.
    WakkoWarner
    • China has out-innovated the West for millenia - imbecile!

      @WakkoWarner
      Ever heard of printing, gunpowder, maths so far ahead of the West for millenia that it made us look a bit like you (imbeciles). Go do some research you smug git! By the way what exactly has your vast intellect contributed to innovation that makes you worthy of looking down your nose at more than a billion of your fellow humans?
      allis0
      • You're looking at very old history a not at the current status

        of innovation from China.

        China is no longer the China of history that you're looking at for your defense of them.

        When it comes to current innovation, they're not doing as good as many other countries, such as the U.S. or Japan or South Korea or Germany and others. China is keeping up, but that's because of the technology being brought in by those other countries doing the innovation. China has been pretty good at pirating and stealing technology, but, that's not the same as "innovation", unless you want to credit them with being innovative with that piracy and theft.
        adornoe
      • RE: Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

        @allis0 Gutenberg was Chinese? Who knew? On the other hand, if you are referring to Block Printing, the Romans were doing it 600 yrs. before the Chinese. Maths as you call it, the oldest known use was in Iraq 4000 yrs. ago. Whose the smug git now?
        spin498
      • RE: Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

        @allis0 Somebody sure got their panties in a wad didn't they.

        My first thought when I heard about this was how ironic that somebody in China is suing somebody for IP theft. It's not knocking the Chinese it's just a response to the fact that China is well know for it's rampant piracy. Of course that does not eliminate an fault from Apple is indeed it is pirated work.
        non-biased
  • RE: Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

    It's hilarious that China is actually suing someone over piracy.

    I went there and everything I bought while I was there was a knock-off. I bought handbags, clothes, software, electronics right off the streets. All of it bogus. There were even open-air markets that dealt specifically in pirated goods. No one there tries to stop it.
    My old company had to open an office in China to combat the blatant copying of their electronic actuators, right down to the labels on the parts. They complained to the government who did nothing. It was the only way they could control the sale of parts coming out of China.
    kevintblack
  • Absolutely hilarious !

    I was ready to start ROTFLMAO, but I stopped because the acronym may have been invented by you know who.
    Can't chance getting sued ................
    da philster
    • RE: Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

      @da philster <br><br>Ro on Foor, Waffing my a$$ off
      UrNotPayingAttention
  • RE: Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

    Would someone educate them that you don't buy e-books on the app store?
    moofer1972
  • RE: Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

    So a developer puts ebooks on Apple's App Store and now some authors in China are claiming that those ebooks are pirated and are suing [i]Apple[/i] rather than the developer who submitted the allegedly pirated works... and yet they cannot prove that the work is even theirs. Does that about sum it up? Like I said in another article dealing with this issue the dev is not being sued because Apple has deeper pockets. The truly ironic thing is that this is coming from the homeland of knock off products.
    athynz
  • IP

    It doesn't matter who it is, it doesn't matter what their compatriots do, these authors deserve to be treated fairly.
    Apple sells the products, therefore Apple has to take action. Apple says that there isn't enough evidence of illegal pirating, but the authors appear to be able to show:
    * original authorship
    * that they didn't give permission
    so there isn't any other conclusion.
    A commercial site like AppStore needs to take this up with the people who upload onto their site (no doubt each uploader has to sign a contract to state that they have ownership of the content, so that Apple can countersue the developer if they themselves are sued by the original author), and a commercial site like Appstore can easily implement searches to make sure that any more illegal copies are stopped before they get listed.
    Sounds a lot like Apple is saying "we like the profit more than we like integrity". I just hope SOPA law is thrown at them, and AppStore is taken down. Even 1 hour would show that government has the might to enforce the law.
    HugoM
    • RE: Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

      @HugoM Let me guess, based on your post I bet you hope Apple loses not because you want the Chinese writer to get what is their but just because anything bad that happens to Apple is good. You claim they have shown original authorship and that they didn't give permission as your basis but I didn't see that in this article. Maybe it was in another but I have not seen it. If indeed they are the actual authors they should be compensated but not just because you hate Apple.
      non-biased
  • RE: Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

    Just another example of Apple exploiting the Chinese people. Remember that their iphones are made in Chinese Foxconn sweatshops.
    ochabge
    • RE: Chinese writers suing Apple over alleged pirated e-books

      @ochabge But where is you rant about the Chinese workers that build the Xbox threatening mass suicide? Not Apple so not an issue?
      non-biased