Apple faces $118000 fine in China for e-book copyright infringement

Apple was fined 730,000 yuan (about $118,000) in China for copyright infringement. News of the fine came from China Daily News (hat tip to ZDNet), which reported the No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court in Beijing ruled against Apple after it discovered the works of three writers were sold through the iBookstore without their permission.

This is the second set of cases brought by the Writers’ Rights Protection Union against Apple. According to Judge Feng Gang, Apple has a responsibility to check whether the novels by third parties have all the permissions that are required in order to be sold in accordance with local laws, on the iBookstore. It seems as though the novels were in fact uploaded by another person who did not have permission to print them, and Apple is the one.

“The writers called for this time contain Mai Jia, whose novels in many cases are on bestseller lists across the country,” the judge said, based on China Daily. “In this manner, Apple has the ability to understand the uploaded publications on its online store broken the writer’s copyright.”

But former president of Yahoo China, Xie Wen, was quoted as saying that companies like Apple are not likely to alter their uploading policies and he is suspicious of this kind of expectancy, so infringements like this will necessarily continue.

Wang Guohua, a lawyer for the three writers in question, said the fine was higher than normal, leaving him and his customers pleased with the results. Apple didn’t comment freely on the verdict.

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