News Column

Chinese Writers Sue Apple for Copyright Violation

Oct. 12, 2012

Apple Inc stood trial on Thursday in Beijing for allegedly selling unlicensed electronic versions of books by eight Chinese writers via its App Store.

The writers demanded a total compensation of 10 million yuan (1.6 million U.S. dollars) from the U.S. electronics giant for violating the copyrights of their 34 works, the Beijing Municipal No. 2 Intermediate People's Court said.

The writers saw applications involving unlicensed electronic versions of their books available for download at the Apple App store last year, their lawyer said.

The books were heavily downloaded, causing huge economic losses to their authors while bringing profits to Apple as well as the application developers, according to the lawyer.

Apple representations, however, said it was not the proper defendant and appealed for the application developers to instead stand trial. In addition, it claimed, there have been no violations after it pulled the applications in question off the shelves of the App store, and therefore should no longer need to pay compensation.

The hearing lasted a whole day and the verdict is to be announced at a later date.

Earlier in the first-instance trial on Sept. 27, the court ordered Apple to pay 520,000 yuan in compensation for economic losses incurred by the Encyclopedia of China Publishing House for copyright infringements.

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Source: Copyright Xinhua News Agency - CEIS 2012

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