China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

Summary: A group of Chinese writers have placed Apple in the firing line for illegal sale of their work through the Apple App store.

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TOPICS: CXO, Apple, China
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A Beijing court has accepted a case filed by nine renowned Chinese authors against Apple Inc.

In a case worth a projected 11.91 million yuan (US$1.88 million), Apple are on the firing line for selling the writers' works illegally within its App store. The technology giant is being taken to court by famous writers including Han Han, Li Chengpeng, and Murong Xuecun, furious at their work being pirated and sold by the corporation.

The company is accused of having failed to block the sale of unauthorised ebook applications, and profiting from it.

(Source: Fergus Randall/Flickr)

Speaking to the Shanghai Morning post, Bei Zhicheng, an official from the writer's protection alliance, said it was "total theft." The official believes that Apple is the only well-known corporation online that is profiteering from illegal book sales, with the usual 30% cut Apple receives from app developers.

It is reported that some of the works have been downloaded several million times via the App store, potentially costing the authors millions of dollars. One of writers has accused Apple of "stealing money from our pockets".

In August 2011, the writer Zhu Jintai became the first Chinese individual to file a lawsuit against Apple when he sued the company for the infringement of intellectual property rights. The author was partly successful in his complaint, and Apple removed the novel from its digital bookshelf.

Following this, Apple issued a statement concerning its App developer terms of service -- reiterating that they are not permitted to violate, misappropriate or infringe copyright. The lawsuit for compensation is currently pending.

In October 2011, six writers demanded 6.5 million yuan (US$1.03 million) in compensation from Apple over the copyright infringement of 23 individual book titles, accusing the Apple App Store of profiting by allowing apps to be sold containing the work without permission from the copyright owners.

The Chinese writer's alliance, who have represented many of the copyright holders, have urged Apple to consider Chinese law in their online sales. They request that copyright certification becomes standard when books are being sold by the App store. According to Bei, Apple has so far refused.

The group, in conjunction with other writers, have also previously waged campaigns against Baidu and Google, causing Baidu to delete 2.8 million unauthorized works, and Google to issue a formal apology in 2010.

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Topics: CXO, Apple, China

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25 comments
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  • RE: China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

    Seriously, China cares about intellectual property rights now?
    Mgm8870
    • RE: China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

      @Mgm8870
      only when it's their ideas that are taken. Not when it's reversed.
      Nate_K
    • RE: China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

      @Mgm8870

      US has done whatever it wanted during last 50 years (relying on its military). Now it's China's turn to do whatever it wants.

      They will care about intellectual property whenever it is about their companies. Because they can ... !!!
      wmac1
      • An odd statement.

        @wmac1
        are you aluding that China would use it's military against Apple?
        Tim Cook
      • RE: China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

        @Mister Spock

        I took his comments to mean military power would be used against the great imperialistic western powers as a means to enforce Chinese foreign nationalistic policy.

        Actual, if that interpretation is correct, our friend has spent his higher educational dollars in a most unwise manner.
        kenosha77a
    • You do realize that more than 1 person lives in China

      @Mgm8870
      Apple doesn't care about intellectual property rights as evident by numerous court cases they've recently lost involving their theft of others' IP. Does that mean that the entire US doesn't care about IP rights?
      toddybottom
      • RE: China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

        @toddybottom And which "numerous" cases would these be?
        athynz
  • RE: China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

    Ever since Apple stole Wifi Sync from the actual developer and blocked him from the app store then stole the pull down status bar from android, nothing surprises me any more about apple.

    I'm waiting to see what else Apple flat out steals from someone next and gets away with it. Just seem's awefull funny to me that Apple can just take what they want from people. I just want to say apple compensated greg hughes in no way (except block his app and take his idea) after stealing his stuff, which is now in IOS5. Mind you, years after the app was first available, which you can still get from cydia.
    Nate_K
    • RE: China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

      @Nate_K More reasons why people should flat out avoid Apple!
      slickjim
    • RE: China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

      @Nate_K

      Yes Apple stole from everyone and benefitted immensely from others' invention.

      I wonder where did goog get the touch idea from to use for android.

      Greg Hughes must had benefitted immensely from android now or his idea was ripped off by android to the tune that he got nothing for his effort. Poor guy.
      AdanC
    • RE: China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

      @Nate_K The pull down notification bar was the work of a developer who based his work on the Android notification bar - that developer works for Apple now.

      The WiFi Sync thing was IMHO simply inexcusable on Apple's part.
      athynz
  • Do you really suprised by Apple?

    I still remember someone once said, "Great artist steals".

    It's Technology meeting Liberal Art street.
    Samic
    • RE: China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

      @Samic Yeah, and now they are all shocked that he meant that literally!
      slickjim
    • RE: China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

      @Samic I find it amusing the Apple Haters are out in force playing the blame game... it was not Apple that stole the ebooks but the distributor of the ebooks. Those authors are suing Apple because Apple has much deeper pockets than the distributor.
      athynz
  • RE: China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

    They are the most slimy company I have ever seen in which their reputation seems unscathed every step they take!
    slickjim
  • No problem ...

    ... once SOPA is passed the Chinese Government will be able to (rightly) claim that Apple's store hosts several works infringing copyright ... and should be removed from DNS and all the company's financial transactions halted until the issue goes through court. Hopefully, in the case of American courts, this will take about 10 years.
    jacksonjohn
    • RE: China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

      @johnfenjackson@... gotta love that SOPA. I sure hope they pass it soon!
      Bill4
      • Sadly, it will also mean that Amazon, Best Buy and Fry's ...

        @Bill4 .... will be responsible for anything "stolen" and included in anything they sell too.

        I see a your point .... it could be fun to watch in court.
        wackoae
  • RE: China next in line to sue Apple, illegal App store sales

    uhhh... this makes no sense.<br><br>Why are they suing apple instead of the actual company that is offering the ebooks?<br><br>Its like some company put copies of their books on a website up for sale, and instead of suing the people who did it, they sure the web hosting company instead...<br><br>oh.. yeah thats right, because if its Apple they'll make the news, and Apple has money... they aren't interested in their property rights, they are interested in getting recognition and money.
    doh123
    • Apple is an accomplice

      @doh123
      Apple profited directly, not indirectly, from the sale of this material. Presumably the authors could go after both the developers and Apple. Going after Apple for the 30% does not stop them from going after the developers for 70%

      "they are interested in getting recognition and money"

      Apple is the richest company in the entire world because they are only interested in money. When did this become a bad thing?
      toddybottom