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Chinese court fines Apple $118K over e-book copyright violations

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
A Chinese court has ordered that Apple compensate three Chinese writers in the amount of $118,000 due to the tech giant's violation of their copyright over their works.

ibooks


Judge Feng Gang of Beijings No. 2 Intermediate People's Court ruled this week that Apple had not secured the proper permissions from the three writers before selling their books in Apple's App Store. The books were apparently uploaded by a third party and sold without the proceeds going to the authors or their publishers. Feng deemed it Apple's responsibility to follow up on the books uploaded to its store in order to avoid copyright violation, according to China Daily (via ZDNet).

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

Feng stressed that other technology companies should take note of the decision in Apple's case and adjust their verification systems in order to avoid similar fines. Industry observers, though, are pessimistic about the likelihood of such. Only the larger content sellers, they say, are targeted in lawsuits, allowing smaller sellers to continue infringing. Further, Apple was only fined $118,000, a figure too small to prod other large companies into hiring the additional personnel they'd need to verify each title that comes through their servers.

This week's decision isn't the first time Apple has run into legal trouble over copyright issues in China. This was the second batch of lawsuits filed against Apple by the Writers' Right Protection Union.

In December, a group of eight writers won $165,000 in a case brought by the China Written Works Copyright Society, alleging that Apple had known about pirated copies of their works since July of 2011 and had been slow to remove the offending apps. The writers had previously been asking for $3.65 million.

Apple also recently lost an $84,000 verdict in a case alleging that it was liable for copyright infringement due to a number of apps in its Chinese store that contained pirated versions of a well-known encyclopedia.
post #2 of 25

"Chinese court" ;-)

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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #3 of 25
1) Are the people that actually copied the works without permission not liable?

2) What has Google been charged for their egregious permission-less copying and posting of millions of works online?

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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post #4 of 25

Tim Cook will have to auction off another coffee chat to pay for this.

post #5 of 25

I sense great irony in this.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Tim Cook will have to auction off another coffee chat to pay for this.

lol.gif the coffee chat is now $180K. This way he will have $62K left for the coffee. Poor poor Timmy, he can only afford an iCoffee Mini.

post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) Are the people that actually copied the works without permission not liable?

Yes. But they are saying that Apple as the store was a part of the copying because they should have known the copies are not legit

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(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I sense great irony in this.

 

That's an understatement. 

post #9 of 25
LOL!

China sues American company for infringing Chinese company's copyright.

Classic!
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I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
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post #10 of 25
Obviously Apple can't hire a team of lawyers to take every single ebook from every source throug the legal process before allowing any ebook app--or ebook app update--to be on the App Store. They can only remove content AFTER being notified.

So what is the goal here, then? I'm assuming this will not be an isolated incident. Is the goal to make Apple (and all others?) stop allowing third-party ebook apps in China? Will that really benefit writers?
post #11 of 25
Frak, the Chinese govt would pay a $100bn fine then
post #12 of 25

I bet the writers and the infringers are the same group of people.

 

The writers wrote the content, then asked the "app developer" to put the content on Apple's ibook store for the sole purpose of picking Apple's pockets.  These writers and developers are the same people in the "court."  Apple should stop allowing Chinese book apps or books in their store.  They also need to put a clause on their app store policy that any person submitting content that infringes on others' copyright or IP will be liable for any court cost, fines, that the "court" put on Apple PLUS 1,000,000 Yuan on top of the court cost and fines.

 

Another thing that could be done is for Apple NOT to accept any content from China.

 

Apple should NOT deal with the communist.  They will do anything to screw Apple over.  Communists have no conscience.  They will rat out their own parents and kill their parents for their own benefits.  Since family is a very important part of the culture and parents are very highly respected, this just shows how the communists have no conscience.

post #13 of 25

But if Apple is taking its customary cut on the sale they are probably liable for "selling", just as much as the third-party uploaders, with the BIG difference that the plaintiffs can get money out of Apple, but probably not from the small third parties.

 

In any case, I think it is not at all unreasonable that Apple is liable for copyright infringement in this case. Whatever the case may be, if Apple sells in China to chinese customers they have to comply with local laws, just as chinese companies who sell in the US are required to comply with US law. I see nothing wrong with that at all. It cuts both ways.
 

post #14 of 25
Originally Posted by Taniwha View Post

…I think it is not at all unreasonable that Apple is liable for copyright infringement in this case.

 

Write books.

Upload books to iBooks Store.

Sue Apple for having books on store, claiming to be someone else.

Profit.

post #15 of 25

FWIW - You REALLY have to wonder - WHO AT APPLE pissed off the Chinese government?

 

My best guess, a young-a**hole-exec from Apple sat down with a Government official and tried to push his hipster frame around.
The Chinese culture is BIG on being humble, if only in manners...

 

Just a guess...

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeromeus View Post

... Apple should NOT deal with the communist.  They will do anything to screw Apple over.  Communists have no conscience.  They will rat out their own parents and kill their parents for their own benefits.  Since family is a very important part of the culture and parents are very highly respected, this just shows how the communists have no conscience.

 

What communists? There haven't been any communists in China since the '70s.

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxoM3 View Post

FWIW - You REALLY have to wonder - WHO AT APPLE pissed off the Chinese government?

 

My best guess, a young-a**hole-exec from Apple sat down with a Government official and tried to push his hipster frame around.
The Chinese culture is BIG on being humble, if only in manners...

 

Just a guess...

 

It's much more probable that someone is being paid by Samsung to foment trouble for Apple in China.

post #18 of 25
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post
What communists? There haven't been any communists in China since the '70s.

 

They ought to change the name of their party, then.

post #19 of 25
Apple should immediately remove anything for sale in any of their stores whenever any entity claims infringement of any kind. Then keep it out until one of the parties proves ownership in court and only then consider allowing that item back in the store.

Apple can't be expected to vet proper ownership for everything and anything submitted for inclusion in their online store.

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"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

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post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

They ought to change the name of their party, then.

 

What for? Perception is reality. It's better to call them human rights violating Communists than human rights violating Oligoplists with a pension for communism.
post #21 of 25
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post
…human rights violating Oligoplists with a penchant for communism.

 

… Easier, at any rate. lol.gif

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

It's much more probable that someone is being paid by Samsung to foment trouble for Apple in China.
Conspiracy theorists have a hard time with probabilities...
post #23 of 25
Hahahahahahahaha............joke of the year.

The Chinese Government is full of crap.
post #24 of 25

Wow, hell has frozen over. China giving a crap about copyright? Really? 

 

If China actually did clamp down on copyright, half of their businesses would disappear !

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

What communists? There haven't been any communists in China since the '70s.

 

Really????  You been in hiding since then??

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