Apple slammed with fine over illegal copyright violation

Apple has been hit with a fine in China after it was determined they illegally distributed copyrighted material via their online book store. It represents another case in a long line of legal cases brought against the company in the last few months.

China Daily reports that the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court ruled that Apple showed negligence in ensuring content uploaded to its 'iBookstore' was owned by the publishers. 

The company were fined a total of 730,000 yuan ($118,000) for 'irresponsible verification policies'.

Judge Feng Gang said in his ruling:

The writers involved this time include Mai Jia, whose books are often on bestseller lists across the country.

Gang went on to add:

In this way, Apple has the capability to know the uploaded books on its online store violated the writers' copyright.

The judge also added that owners of other online eBook stores should take precautions to ensure copyrighted material is not uploaded without explicit permission from the content owners, or else they could face similar penalties from the country's judicial system.

Wang Guohua, the lawyer representing the claimants, told China Daily that he was satisfied with the results and that the compensation received was higher than in most copyright infringement cases.

Apple's attorney refused to make any comment on the case.

Source: China Daily via ZDNetImage via Digital Trends

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30 Comments

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As is obvious from many of the snide comments here, most westerners don't understand that "reputation" is FAR more important than "money" in China.

This explains why so many western companies fail to penetrate the world's largest market.

Sad when you are violating a copyright because you sold something.
Did they make a knock off and use the same name ?
See what i mean ?

Copyright law is a sad pathetic twisted mess.

Yet Apple and others like to make their products there no matter what it takes... Turns out to be cheaper for them, which means they are cheap greedy Companies taking advantage of the situation, yet complaining and whining all over the place. People tend to see bad in others but ourselves!

China and copyright! Biggest joke of the century!

Isn't China the same country that's cloning entire european towns and building them in their country. They'r basically ripping off the architecture and landscapes and building mini european cities.

Apple should sue China for copyright violation on well... almost everything! Don't get me wrong here, I'm a WP8 user.

And, since when did China realize that they had a Copyright Law??

shra1 said,
Apple should sue China for copyright violation on well... almost everything! Don't get me wrong here, I'm a WP8 user.

And, since when did China realize that they had a Copyright Law??

When they started looking for companies to extort money from. Seriously. There's no easier way for these countries to get free money than to go after companies based in other countries with suites... And this case really strikes me as odd. How does a book get published on iTunes by a book publisher that didn't have the right to publish said book?

Slammed? That's like me getting slammed with paying an extra penny for going over at the gas pump. I've seen a lady chase a man out of a store over a penny. Don't mess with people's pennies.

The irony is that China is by far the largest market of pirated and imitated digital media, including Apple's own software and products.

I realize that they went after Apple because that's where the money is, but in reality wouldn't this be the publisher's responsibility? And how does a publisher accidentally publish a book they don't have the right to publish anyway? This all seems like a very strange case.

why don't they sue the person who is responsible for fake publishing content that didn't belong to them? A company (to a degree) doesn't have enough man power to investigate all material pushed to them. If I went and put short story book on there that I stole from a person who lived in the hills, how are they to know? My fault, not theirs.

stevember said,
The irony is Apple fans will just laugh and go 'oh well' but anti Apple will get annoyed and start arguing.

not really
i'm anti-apple and i couldn't care less what they do or what happens to them.
their crap is a non event.. their stuff has no meaning to me at all.
so i can't stand them and their crap but i sure don't waste my time hating on them.
maybe i would if i cared but they are irrelevant.
I don't think I'm the only one that thinks that and silently lets them do their thing either.

Well said. Reminds me of all those jackasses who say they can't stand Justin Beiber, but continue reading and posting about anything/everything he's doing. I don't even...