Chinese writers double request for damages in Apple piracy suit

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


In a revision to a December filing, nine Chinese writers claiming that Apple has been selling pirated versions of their work on its App Store nearly doubled the amount they are demanding from the company, and now seek a compensatory payout of over $3.6 million.



The group of writers, who filed the revised claim in Beijing's Second Intermediate People's Court on Wednesday under the name China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS), allege that unlicensed copies of their books have been repurposed as apps and are being sold through Apple's App Store, reports Macworld.



CWWCS is now asking for 23 million yuan ($3.65 million), or nearly double the 11.9 million yuan ($1.89 million) in damages that was first sought as part of the original complaint. The inflation of damages stems in part from new evidence that an additional 26 infringing products had been added to the App Store following the initial lawsuit.



In a January hearing, CWWCS claimed that when the Cupertino, Calif., company was notified about the pirated content, it was slow to remove the offending products and in some cases refused to delete the content altogether. The group said that Apple has known about the problem since July, 2011.



Executive for CWWCS, Bei Zhicheng, said that Apple allegedly allowed the sale of 59 unauthorized apps which featured content produced by the nine members. He claims that the iPad maker told the authors to contact the pirate developers and resolve the issue on their own.





Author Murong Xuecun, left, and CWWCS Executive Bei Zhicheng. | Source: The Asahi Shimbun







Just as it does with all iTunes sales, Apple takes a 30 percent cut from each App Store purchase, and the company recently announced over $4 billion has been paid out to app developers as of the first quarter of 2012.



In total, CWWCS estimates the infringing apps have been downloaded over one million times.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post






    In total, CWWCS estimates the infringing apps have been downloaded over one million times.



    [ View article on AppleInsider ]



    It wasn't me, I swear.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    unlicensed copies of their books have been repurposed as apps and are being sold through Apple's App Store, reports Macworld.




    If Apple were forced to be certain that the products it sells are not illegal, it might lower their profits.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,158member
    Chinese authors claim damages from Apple over alleged copyright violations? The irony of this situation seems to escape them.
  • realisticrealistic Posts: 1,111member
    Have these authors; 1) Gone after the people/companies that submitted the apps to the store? 2) Has it been decided in court that the apps are stolen or copies of their works?
  • carlosviscarracarlosviscarra Posts: 37member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Chinese authors double demands in Apple copyright suit



    In a revision to a December filing, nine Chinese writers claiming that Apple has been selling pirated versions of their work on its App Store nearly doubled the amount they are demanding from the company, and now seek a compensatory payout of over $3.6 million.



    The group of writers, who filed the revised claim in Beijing's Second Intermediate People's Court on Wednesday under the name China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS), allege that unlicensed copies of their books have been repurposed as apps and are being sold through Apple's App Store, reports Macworld.



    CWWCS is now asking for 23 million yuan ($3.65 million), or nearly double the 11.9 million yuan ($1.89 million) in damages that was first sought as part of the original complaint. The inflation of damages stems in part from new evidence that an additional 26 infringing products had been added to the App Store following the initial lawsuit.



    In a January hearing, CWWCS claimed that when the Cupertino, Calif., company was notified about the pirated content, it was slow to remove the offending products and in some cases refused to delete the content altogether. The group said that Apple has known about the problem since July, 2011.



    Executive for CWWCS, Bei Zhicheng, said that Apple allegedly allowed the sale of 59 unauthorized apps which featured content produced by the nine members. He claims that the iPad maker told the authors to contact the pirate developers and resolve the issue on their own.





    Author Murong Xuecun, left, and CWWCS Executive Bei Zhicheng. | Source: The Asahi Shimbun





    In total, CWWCS estimates the infringing apps have been downloaded over one million times.



    [ View article on AppleInsider ]



    But I guess I cannot blame them for trying to get rich!



    But how in the he77 did they come up with over 3million bucks?



    They "estimated" that the app were downloaded up to 1 million times... Which translates to "THEY DONT HAVE A CLUE" how many times it was downloaded...



    And how do they determine that over 3 million bucks worth od content was pirated?



    And how do they figure Apple is responsible? What if these were not downloaded in china?



    Geez so many people hoping Apple will just pay out instead of fighting... but they are wrong! This one is a bust!!!
  • jumperjumper Posts: 34member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    If Apple were forced to be certain that the products it sells are not illegal, it might lower their profits.



    This is not Apples problem. These people should go after the people who stole their works. This is just a waste of time for Apple.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,339member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jumper View Post


    This is not Apples problem. These people should go after the people who stole their works. This is just a waste of time for Apple.



    I agree that these people need to go after those people who actually stole their works.



    My next comment is not in regards to this case, but it is more of a general statement. I do believe that Apple has an obligation to remove blatant copyright violations from their Appstore.



    Unless I'm missing some facts about this case, I'd say that it was a pretty big blunder on Apple's part to allow that fake Pokemon app which was recently on their Appstore and which some sites have been reporting about. How did Apple miss that one? They need to tighten up their review process IMO.
  • realisticrealistic Posts: 1,111member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Realistic View Post


    Have these authors; 1) Gone after the people/companies that submitted the apps to the store? 2) Has it been decided in court that the apps are stolen or copies of their works?



    Apple is neither a court or a judge.
  • drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Realistic View Post


    Apple is neither a court or a judge.



    It could turn out it's a reseller of stolen goods though, and by picking a 30% share, an accomplice.
  • aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,539member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    I agree that these people need to go after those people who actually stole their works.



    My next comment is not in regards to this case, but it is more of a general statement. I do believe that Apple has an obligation to remove blatant copyright violations from their Appstore.



    Unless I'm missing some facts about this case, I'd say that it was a pretty big blunder on Apple's part to allow that fake Pokemon app which was recently on their Appstore and which some sites have been reporting about. How did Apple miss that one? They need to tighten up their review process IMO.



    You get into a slippery slope pretty quickly. Apple's 30% cut makes them a distributor, and they should bear some of the risk. It seems like what should happen is that the developers' accounts be frozen, and any payments (to Apple or the developer) be frozen until the case is resolved.
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,083member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jumper View Post


    This is not Apples problem. These people should go after the people who stole their works. This is just a waste of time for Apple.



    to a degree it is Apple's problem. IF they are allowing confirmed infringing materials to be sold then they are party to the infringement.



    So I ask the question, has it been confirmed that the items were infringing.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Unless I'm missing some facts about this case, I'd say that it was a pretty big blunder on Apple's part to allow that fake Pokemon app which was recently on their Appstore and which some sites have been reporting about. How did Apple miss that one? They need to tighten up their review process IMO.



    When you submit an app one of the conditions you are agreeing to is that you have obtained all necessary legal permissions required for your app and its contents. And that Apple is not liable if you are lying.



    These copycats agreed to this condition and lied (apparently). Apple would only be liable if it was proven they lied and did nothing.



    so my question again. Has it been proven



    And in regards to the additional apps, did they infringe on the same materials or new ones. Because allegations of copying would be item specific and Apple would response to that item. They are not required to then check every app against every property of these groups to make sure nothing else was copied. And they shouldn't be liable for such checks. Which is why they told the group that just complaining to Apple isn't enough, they need to go after the actual groups doing the copying using all their local legal rights.
  • vanalivevanalive Posts: 2member
    I would do the same thing if I were them. I'm not sure they will be awarded the full amount they asking for, but if Apple is making money off illegal products, at the very least they should be accountable for profits they made. (~30% per copy)



    Apple cannot be "responsible" for all products sold, but they can be accountable. Once they were alerted to this, they should have acted quickly to investigate and by not doing so, they should be liable. (Assuming, that the copyright violations are legit. I presume this is for one of those book compilations.)



    Unlike, some of the patent trolls, copyright owners have a real case. And unlike youtube per se, Apple has an approval prices for applications, so they actually have exercise necessary control.
  • eastmaneastman Posts: 8member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Chinese authors claim damages from Apple over alleged copyright violations? The irony of this situation seems to escape them.



    I was thinking exactly the same lol
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,339member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    When you submit an app one of the conditions you are agreeing to is that you have obtained all necessary legal permissions required for your app and its contents. And that Apple is not liable if you are lying.



    These copycats agreed to this condition and lied (apparently). Apple would only be liable if it was proven they lied and did nothing.



    so my question again. Has it been proven



    I see your point. But just to play devil's advocate, let's say that the developers of that pirated Pokemon app did indeed lie about it. Shouldn't Apple still have caught that lie, especially when it is such a blatant and easy lie to catch? Doesn't everybody know that Pokemon is connected to Nintendo? Apple at least should have definitely known that.
  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,387member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Realistic View Post


    Apple is neither a court or a judge.



    If someone ripped off an application written by Apple, they'd be pulled. In a physical store setting, if someone was stocking software that was copied without consent, it would get pulled too. It's just a matter of if these guys can show that this is their IP. The article doesn't mention much, and a quick google search does not amount to thorough research on the topic.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jumper View Post


    This is not Apples problem. These people should go after the people who stole their works. This is just a waste of time for Apple.



    You say that, and yet had these guys ripped off something made by Apple, your attitude might be different. If these guys can suitably prove their work was pirated, it should be enough to pull an app at the very least. Look at other things that have caused apps to go away. Obviously if there's any credibility, Apple should at least respond.
  • alienzedalienzed Posts: 393member
    This is ridiculous, Apple's 30% cut pays for the software and hardware necessary for the store to run. They've always been clear that they operate barely above break even when it comes to iTunes.



    Furthermore, Apple is not a copyright enforcing body, they have no responsibility to enforce copyrights, the producer of material is responsible. Otherwise Proview would be suing every entity in China that sells iPads, not Apple. But that's another story for earlier today...
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


    It could turn out it's a reseller of stolen goods though, and by picking a 30% share, an accomplice.



    Uh-oh. Slippery slope ahead. It could turn out that if the reseller of stolen goods paid income taxes on their 70% share, it makes the government an accomplice.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,864member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Uh-oh. Slippery slope ahead. It could turn out that if the reseller of stolen goods paid income taxes on their 70% share, it makes the government an accomplice.



    You know many bank robbers who count their multi-million dollar takes as 'income'?



    Just saying.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    to a degree it is Apple's problem. IF they are allowing confirmed infringing materials to be sold then they are party to the infringement.




    If you buy a copy, are you a party to the infringement?
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,322member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    If you buy a copy, are you a party to the infringement?



    Would it matter if you had previously been told the product was stolen?
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