Japanese publishers censure Apple over App Store copyright violations

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
A consortium of Japanese publishers rebuked Apple on Tuesday for approving App Store apps that violate the copyrights of several famous Japanese authors.



The Japan Book Publishers Association, the Japan Magazine Publishers Association, The Electronic Book Publishers Association of Japan, and Digital Comic Association issued a joint press release Tuesday condemning Apple?s distribution of infringing content as ?illegal,? The Wall Street Journal reports. The consortium said works by well-known Japanese authors Haruki Marakami and Keigo Higashino had been illegally scanned and then distributed via the App Store.



?The associations we represent believe that Apple bears grave responsibility for this problem,? the statement read. According to the consortium, Apple's excuse that it is unable to check for copyrighted material during the App review process is "a wholly unconvincing explanation."



Apple's policy of removing pirated material when notified by a copyright holder mirrors Google's policy with YouTube videos. Viacom is suing Google for more than $1 billion over unauthorized copyrighted material posted to YouTube, the report noted. Google has defended itself by asserting that it obeys the law by removing offending material when notified, while Viacom argues that it should not have to monitor the site and send notices for infringing material.



The group of publishers is willing to give Apple a chance. In its press release, it asked to meet with Apple Japan to discuss how to address the problems. However, should Apple ignore the request, it will further provoke the ire of the publishers. ?A failure to respond will be regarded as a lack of will on your part to take measures in a sincere manner,? the consortium warned.



As a foreign company facing off against local companies in the arena of digital distribution, Apple's efforts have been met with resistance. Tokyo-based conglomerate Sony inked several deals with newspapers and publishers for its e-reader content platform just prior to the iPad's launch there in May.



However, as the popularity of Apple's devices continues to grow in Japan, publishers have begun to take notice. The iPad got off to a "frenzied" start in Japan, with buyers camping out for days to purchase the device. The iPhone is dominating the Japanese smartphone market, while the iPod has seen continued success in the country.



Apple will increase the stakes for the Japan App Store early next year when it brings iAd to the country with the help of local partner The Dentsu Group.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    If they're anyone other than Yukio Mishima, they don't count.
  • Reply 2 of 42
    I remember when I first saw this stuff on the Apstore it was so obvious. I do not believe that the people involved in the app-review process were unaware of the copyright violation.



    @Quadra



    You can add Masamune Shirow to the "does count" list.
  • Reply 3 of 42
    The whole "notify us and we'll remove it upon review" thing is really weak and unacceptable for corporations like Google and Apple (and eBay for that matter). Imagine if Walmart or any other retailer tried selling counterfeit Levis and DVDs, and just changed their store policy to "notify us of infringements, and we'll remove them upon review".
  • Reply 4 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post


    I remember when I first saw this stuff on the Apstore it was so obvious. I do not believe that the people involved in the app-review process were unaware of the copyright violation.



    How obvious was it to you?

    ??

    And how could they have checked if the company which brings the app into AppStore has or has not the rights to distribute these books?

    So, please, tell us, how did you come to conclusion, that this was some kind of violation?



    Tell us, by which review process could Apple have concluded that it was a violation? Is this process a part of the current review? What makes you "believe" that Apple knew about it?

    Just because you thought that is unlikely that such famous authors will appear in App Store?



    Maybe you believe and assume too much?
  • Reply 5 of 42
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Superbass View Post


    The whole "notify us and we'll remove it upon review" thing is really weak and unacceptable for corporations like Google and Apple (and eBay for that matter). Imagine if Walmart or any other retailer tried selling counterfeit Levis and DVDs, and just changed their store policy to "notify us of infringements, and we'll remove them upon review".



    Agree with you. Apple (and YouTube) should make a requirement for a right to publish from a developer.
  • Reply 6 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Superbass View Post


    The whole "notify us and we'll remove it upon review" thing is really weak and unacceptable for corporations like Google and Apple (and eBay for that matter). Imagine if Walmart or any other retailer tried selling counterfeit Levis and DVDs, and just changed their store policy to "notify us of infringements, and we'll remove them upon review".



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post


    Agree with you. Apple (and YouTube) should make a requirement for a right to publish from a developer.





    You both misunderstand who creates/delivers the content/merchandise. Your views are too simplistic.



    And how should it work? I see, you imagine it so that apple will require from each developer a copy of patents, confirmation that they come up with original idea (and still then it is not 100% that they would not be taken to a court room by some one who holds another patent).

    Tell us, how should they do it? How for example you would prove to Google that you have all rights to own and distribute the video which you are uploading?



    You just criticize and say that some one should have done something, but you can't even suggest how and what they really could do.
  • Reply 7 of 42
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Superbass View Post


    The whole "notify us and we'll remove it upon review" thing is really weak and unacceptable for corporations like Google and Apple (and eBay for that matter). Imagine if Walmart or any other retailer tried selling counterfeit Levis and DVDs, and just changed their store policy to "notify us of infringements, and we'll remove them upon review".



    Things are different now. WalMart probably doesn't deal with small fly-by-night individuals for physical media. They're only going to deal with large distributors for that. The digital era makes copyright infringement easy to do convincingly, and makes it easy to make infringing digital media for sale. The same technology that allows an author to self-publish also allows a copyright infringer to make money from someone else's work.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doorman. View Post


    You both misunderstand who creates/delivers the content/merchandise. Your views are too simplistic.



    And how should it work? I see, you imagine it so that apple will require from each developer a copy of patents, confirmation that they come up with original idea (and still then it is not 100% that they would not be taken to a court room by some one who holds another patent).

    Tell us, how should they do it? How for example you would prove to Google that you have all rights to own and distribute the video which you are uploading?



    You just criticize and say that some one should have done something, but you can't even suggest how and what they really could do.



    I think you are being to unrealistic....

    Apple is a multi BILLION dollar company. They have a staff of people to make sure this doesn't happen. Just because they(posters listed above) pointed out that this was wrong doesn't mean they have to have a better answer. Apple and all major digital retailers have staff with MBA's and a team of lawyers to make sure this does not happen. If the allegations are true then Apple is at fault here.
  • Reply 9 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doorman. View Post


    You both misunderstand who creates/delivers the content/merchandise. Your views are too simplistic.



    And how should it work? I see, you imagine it so that apple will require from each developer a copy of patents, confirmation that they come up with original idea (and still then it is not 100% that they would not be taken to a court room by some one who holds another patent).

    Tell us, how should they do it? How for example you would prove to Google that you have all rights to own and distribute the video which you are uploading?



    You just criticize and say that some one should have done something, but you can't even suggest how and what they really could do.



    I don't think it's to simplistic. Fair enough they are going to miss things but they should actually be making an effort. At the moment is seems like they don't bother doing anything and wait to be notified. If your the second highest valued company in the world you should be doing a bit more than waiting to be notified. It may be that if they tried to check everything for copywrite then it would cost far to much to actually make a profit. But that isn't an excuse for selling something you shouldn't.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by geekdad View Post


    I think you are being to unrealistic....

    Apple is a multi BILLION dollar company. They have a staff of people to make sure this doesn't happen. Just because they(posters listed above) pointed out that this was wrong doesn't mean they have to have a better answer. Apple and all major digital retailers have staff with MBA's and a team of lawyers to make sure this does not happen. If the allegations are true then Apple is at fault here.



    I think you misunderstand the scale of the problem. There are maybe hundreds of billions or even trillions of copyrighted works in play. Apple sells 10+ billion songs. If you insist that they pay for their team of lawyers to check on the copyright on every single SKU, check the authenticity of every single photo used in a book or software, they aren't going to be a billion dollar company anymore. Just check out the scale of the Library of Congress to see the scope of the problem.



    I don't know how an MBA is a good choice for checking copyright violations. Running the business, yes, checking legal matters, no.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    -hh-hh Posts: 31member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post


    I don't think it's to simplistic. Fair enough they are going to miss things but they should actually be making an effort. At the moment is seems like they don't bother doing anything and wait to be notified. If your the second highest valued company in the world you should be doing a bit more than waiting to be notified. It may be that if they tried to check everything for copywrite then it would cost far to much to actually make a profit. But that isn't an excuse for selling something you shouldn't.



    Sounds fair enough, but what we don't currently know is how many Apps that Apple already "catches" beforehand. Thus, we don't know if 100% of violators are "slipping through" Apple's QA process, or if it is just 1% - - and until we know that, we don't really have a good handle on how valid our criticism here may be.



    IMO, for cases like this, a King Soloman -esque approach may be appropriate.



    For example, given that the violation has taken place, Apple should be able to figure out a legal process (with their lawyers, Developer's agreement, etc) to basically say that the App Developer's act of IP violation has forfeited his own IP & ownership rights to the infringing App ("Stick"), whereupon its effective ownership gets turned over to the infringed-upon copyrightholders ("Carrot"). From there, the new owner can then decide if to let the App be and reap the revenue, or if to shut it down, or if reprice it, etc, etc.





    -hh
  • Reply 12 of 42
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    This is overblown. If they report a violation which is substantiated Apple will remove them. End of story. Heck Apple are criticized all the time for removing or blocking apps so it is not as if they don't take this sort of thing seriously. Just as with the non-existent antennae issue there always those wanting to jump on any anti-Apple theme and also those with actual reasons to stoke any such fires. The issue will be resolved quickly I am sure.
  • Reply 13 of 42
    enohpienohpi Posts: 103member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Superbass View Post


    The whole "notify us and we'll remove it upon review" thing is really weak and unacceptable for corporations like Google and Apple (and eBay for that matter). Imagine if Walmart or any other retailer tried selling counterfeit Levis and DVDs, and just changed their store policy to "notify us of infringements, and we'll remove them upon review".







    There is a big difference between the WalMart/Apple examples and YouTube.



    Apple chooses which software they want to sell in the App Store. Likewise, WalMart chooses which merchandise it puts on its shelves.



    YouTube and others, OTOH, do not choose what to make available. That is why the DMCA has the provisions you object to. Unlike apple choosing infringing products to put on its virtual shelves, or WalMart doing the same, in the case of Google, it is the author who puts it on the server, and not the server owner.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Superbass View Post


    The whole "notify us and we'll remove it upon review" thing is really weak and unacceptable for corporations like Google and Apple (and eBay for that matter). Imagine if Walmart or any other retailer tried selling counterfeit Levis and DVDs, and just changed their store policy to "notify us of infringements, and we'll remove them upon review".



    Simplistic thinking at it's finest. If google, for example, were to try and police the millions of videos uploaded to YouTube in such a way, the service would become useless for both the publisher and the viewer, google would be spending untold additional resources to make said service useless, and people would complain to no end that google is acting like a bully and denying them their first ammendment rights by not allowing that video of a squirrel playing a tambourine to be viewed. There is a balance between fair use, free flow of information, and copyright infringement and the only way to find the balance is to let them duke it continuously. Walmart is not a suitable model to compare with these companies.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    enohpienohpi Posts: 103member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post


    I don't think it's to simplistic. Fair enough they are going to miss things but they should actually be making an effort. At the moment is seems like they don't bother doing anything and wait to be notified. If your the second highest valued company in the world you should be doing a bit more than waiting to be notified. It may be that if they tried to check everything for copywrite then it would cost far to much to actually make a profit. But that isn't an excuse for selling something you shouldn't.







    Apple picks and chooses which apps Apple wants to sell in Apple's store. Therefore, Apple is 100% responsible for selling counterfeit merchandise in the App Store.



    YouTube, OTOH, picks and chooses nothing. Other people pick and choose what is available on You Tube. YouTube is therefore responsible ONLY upon being notified. That is the law. It makes perfect sense.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by enohpI View Post


    There is a big difference between the WalMart/Apple examples and YouTube.



    Apple chooses which software they want to sell in the App Store. Likewise, WalMart chooses which merchandise it puts on its shelves.



    YouTube and others, OTOH, do not choose what to make available. That is why the DMCA has the provisions you object to. Unlike apple choosing infringing products to put on its virtual shelves, or WalMart doing the same, in the case of Google, it is the author who puts it on the server, and not the server owner.



    The difference between YouTube and the apple app store is only in degree not in substance. The app store is much closer a model to youtube than it is to walmart.
  • Reply 17 of 42
    enohpienohpi Posts: 103member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post


    The difference between YouTube and the apple app store is only in degree not in substance. The app store is much closer a model to youtube than it is to walmart.







    If what you say is true, then that is a huge problem for Apple.



    If Apple wants to pick and choose, they bear the responsibility for any malfeasance they commit. If their methods are inadequate, they still bear the responsibility - that is the heart of their malfeasance.



    If Apple wants to pick and choose, then they need to accept responsibility for poor choices.





    Think of it this way: If AI publishes an infringing article, they bear responsibility. But if one of us users were to repost an infringing article at some random place in some obscure dead thread, AI is responsible only upon notification. That is the distinction between Apple selling counterfeit goods and Google being victimized with an infringing YouTube video.



    Again: If Apple wants to pick and choose the merchandise that they sell, then they need to pick and choose legal merchandise.
  • Reply 18 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    .....If you insist that they pay for their team of lawyers to check on the copyright on every single SKU, check the authenticity of every single photo used in a book or software, they aren't going to be a billion dollar company anymore. ....



    Exactly.
  • Reply 19 of 42
    mknoppmknopp Posts: 257member
    You people who think that this is somehow Apple's problem are dangerously and stupidly naive.



    You want to know what the symptom of this idiotic ideal is? The local grade school PTO held a family fun night this last weekend. During the event they had a Santa and a photographer donate their time and equipment to take pictures with Santa for the children. The problem came up when they tried to get those photos printed at the local one-hour photo center at Wal-Mart.



    Wal-Mart would not print the pictures because they could not prove that they owned the copyright. So, all of you oh so knowledgeable people. Tell us exactly how you prove that you truly own something? How does Apple determine who owns what copyrights? How do they determine who has what license deals?



    If I were to write a program and include my own art, how exactly do you propose I prove that it is mine? There is no cut and dried way, at least in the US, and none that I know of in Japan either. To truly know who owns what copyright and who has what rights to use it requires a court case, it requires a burden of proof.



    So, I guess that is what it comes down to. Apple needs to start taking every one of these creators to court to prove that they own the copyright to each and every piece of media submitted to the App store. Could you imagine being an artist and having to go to court every time you tried to do anything with your creation because it is the only way to prove that you own it?



    I wonder who will run out of money first from this completely ridiculous idea? Apple and Google or the authors?



    Doesn't sound like such a good idea any more does it?



    Or perhaps you all just suppose we take the media company's word for it? I mean they have never lied. Oh wait, they lie all of the time.



    So, perhaps the best thing to do is simply stick to the tried and true method of reporting any material to Apple when you find material that you think might be a violation.
  • Reply 20 of 42
    enohpienohpi Posts: 103member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mknopp View Post


    Doesn't sound like such a good idea any more does it?




    The idea never sounded good.



    Instead, Apple needs to use the tried and true methods which have been in place ever since authors started to go to publishers to get their work published and sold.



    Apple is choosing works to publish and sell. If their methods are defective, then their methods need to be repaired. It is not impossible. It is SOP with every retailer of protected works.
Sign In or Register to comment.