Apple ordered to pay $165K in Chinese copyright dispute

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A Chinese court on Thursday ordered Apple to pay 1.03 million yuan, roughly $165,000, to a group of writers who claimed their work was pirated and sold through the App Store.

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


A judge from Beijing's Second Intermediate People's Court found Apple to be liable for the sale of unlicensed works by eight local writers, which were repurposed as apps and distributed through the App Store, reports The Wall Street Journal. The fine will be meted out to the group of writers and two companies involved in the case.

Thursday's decision is far from the requested compensatory damages sought by the China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS), the group of eight writers which filed a revised claim in February asking for 23 million yuan ($3.65 million), or nearly double the original complaint's 11.9 million yuan ($1.89 million).

In response to the ruling, Apple said its employees "take copyright infringement complaints very seriously" and that the company is "always updating our service to better assist content owners in protecting their rights."

This is counter to previous assertions from CWWCS, which claimed Apple knew about the pirated versions since July 2011 and was slow to remove the offending apps from its online store. The Cupertino company supposedly told the group to contact the pirate app developers on their own, but the claims were not verified.

Thursday's outcome is the second Chinese copyright related loss for Apple in the past three months. In September, the same Beijing court ruled that the company must pay $82,600 for the sale of unauthorized digital copies of a popular Chinese language encyclopedia.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32


    Ah the irony.

  • Reply 2 of 32
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Samsung is smiling right now.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    leighrleighr Posts: 185member
    ....and the Chinese pirates who stole the copyrighted information, used it to create an App, and submitted it to Apple?
  • Reply 4 of 32


    "An anonymous shipment of paper money from the Parker Brothers game Monopoly arrived at the doorstep of these complete idiots (sorry, I really can't say anything else about them than that) earlier this week. No clues as to the sender, but the amount totaled $165,000, in-game."






    Originally Posted by leighr View Post

    ....and the Chinese pirates who stole the copyrighted information, used it to create an App, and submitted it to Apple?


     



    They're receiving $165,000. Didn't you see the title? image

  • Reply 5 of 32


    I'm going to write some crap, copyright it, then you post it to the app store and we'll split the windfall when we sue Apple. It's gonna be a whole new industry.

  • Reply 6 of 32
    After stealing American intellectual property for an extended period of time, it is ironic that the Chinese take offense when the roles are reversed. This is quite the double standard. However if China were to evenly apply copyright law, it would be good for them and good for the world.
  • Reply 7 of 32


    millions of copycats in China, very few are held accountable for their IP crimes, especially the age of PP2s...


     


    protectionism gone wrong in a judiciary system based on under the table incentives... 

     

  • Reply 8 of 32
    Look at their smirking smile...........I smell rat for sure.
  • Reply 9 of 32


    Apple is getting attacked in every corner of the world it seems... bad news flowing in non stop every day.  I dont remmeber RIMM taking such a beating while their bubble was bursting

  • Reply 10 of 32


    Originally Posted by KingChael View Post

    Apple is getting attacked in every corner of the world it seems... bad news flowing in non stop every day.  I dont remmeber RIMM taking such a beating while their bubble was bursting


     


    See, Apple's "bubble" isn't bursting.

  • Reply 11 of 32
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    This may set a very dangerous precedent.

    In general, a reseller is not responsible for copyright infringement unless they have been informed of such infringement. If Apple was not informed of the infringement, then they should not be held liable for the work that was sold through their store.

    OTOH, if they were notified of the infringement and didn't do anything, then they can be held liable.

    I don't see enough details in the story to know which is true, but if they were never notified, it creates enormous potential liabilities for anyone who does business with items that could be covered by IP.
  • Reply 12 of 32


    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

    In general, a reseller is not responsible for copyright infringement unless they have been informed of such infringement.


     


    Yep, but this is Chinese court, not reality. And when it's China vs. anyone else in said court, it's evident who wins.

  • Reply 13 of 32
    jragosta wrote: »
    This may set a very dangerous precedent.
    In general, a reseller is not responsible for copyright infringement unless they have been informed of such infringement. If Apple was not informed of the infringement, then they should not be held liable for the work that was sold through their store.
    OTOH, if they were notified of the infringement and didn't do anything, then they can be held liable.
    I don't see enough details in the story to know which is true, but if they were never notified, it creates enormous potential liabilities for anyone who does business with items that could be covered by IP.

    Supposedly they were informed but is Apple policy that those claiming ownership should first contact the developers and then contact Apple with some kind of proof otherwise one could make sure a claim just to jerk someone around and these writers didn't follow through with both.

    Frankly I don't see much to worry about. Seems like the courts basically give Apple a slap on the wrist. Essentially forcing them to pay the writers the amount paid to the pirates as that is what they would have gotten if they had created the apps. But since they didn't follow through on the requests they don't get any statutory damages. Apple probably makes $165,000 at many stores every day. Certainly a big one like 5th Ave so it's not going to hurt them
  • Reply 14 of 32
    Gotta love Chinese courts.

    Gee guys, let's sue the store instead of the pirates!

    Some amazing logic going on there...
  • Reply 15 of 32


    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

    Frankly I don't see much to worry about. Seems like the courts basically give Apple a slap on the wrist. Apple probably makes $165,000 at many stores every day. Certainly a big one like 5th Ave so it's not going to hurt them


     


    It's the principle. The perpetrators of this farce should be jailed and the legalites that allowed it to pass be disbarred. 

  • Reply 16 of 32
    sensisensi Posts: 346member
    Look at their smirking smile...........I smell rat for sure.
    What is sure is that the recurring bigotry and hatred over here is nauseating...
  • Reply 17 of 32
    kingchael wrote: »
    Apple is getting attacked in every corner of the world it seems... bad news flowing in non stop every day.  I dont remmeber RIMM taking such a beating while their bubble was bursting

    See, Apple's "bubble" isn't bursting.

    What bubble? They create solid products, generate a steady income, are debt-free and with their 30+ years of experience and patents they look like there is no stopping them. No bubble detected at my end, there's nothing to inflate.

    PS, TS, I'd take the dot out of your title; would flow better.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member


    As long as Apple makes developers click an agreement testifying that they own or have rights to all IP in their product, they shouldn't be able to be held liable. Or if Apple are sued they should show the judge the agreement the developer agreed to and ask him to redirect the lawsuit towards the developer.

  • Reply 19 of 32
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,283member
    And these books don't exist on Android? Smells fishy...
  • Reply 20 of 32
    ascii wrote: »
    As long as Apple makes developers click an agreement testifying that they own or have rights to all IP in their product, they shouldn't be able to be held liable.

    They do. But when you are told that someone lied, every court will agree that at that point you are liable if you allow it to continue. Apple has rules about pulling apps for such claims and these writers either did not like this or felt it was too slow. The courts somewhat agreed and gave Apple a slap on the wrist for not having a faster process.
Sign In or Register to comment.