China court fines Apple $118K for copyright breach

A Beijing court has ordered Apple to compensate three Chinese writers for selling their works via its app store without getting their permission.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Apple will have to compensate three Chinese writers for infringing their copyright rights when it sold their books online without first seeking permission.

A China Daily report Wednesday stated the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court ruled in favor of the authors, and Apple will have to pay them in excess of 730,000 yuan (US$118,000) for the infringement. Apple had not gotten permission before selling their books on the Apple App Store, it noted.

The presiding judge, Feng Gang, said Apple has the duty of checking whether the books uploaded by third-party providers are in line with current laws.

He said: "The writers involved this time include Mai Jia, whose books are often on bestseller lists across the country. In this way, Apple has the capability to know the uploaded books on its online store violated the writers' copyright."

Feng also warned other tech companies with similar online stores should learn from this case and improve their verification systems to avoid similar disputes.

These cases were the second batch of lawsuits filed against Apple by the Writers' Right Protection Union, which is an organization safeguarding local writers' online copyright, it added.

Wang Guohua, the lawyer representing the writers told China Daily he was satisfied with the results and the compensation ruling was higher than in most copyright infringement cases. Apple's lawyer declined to comment, according to China Daily.

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