China court orders Apple to pay in rights dispute

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Chinese employees pose for photographers at the newly opened Apple Store at the MixC mall in Chengdu in southwest China’s Sichuan province on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. Apple Computer currently has eight stores in mainland China. AP Photo

BEIJING — A Chinese court has ordered Apple Inc. to pay 1.03 million yuan ($165,000) to eight Chinese writers and two companies who say unlicensed copies of their work were distributed through Apple’s online store.

The Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court ruled Thursday that Apple violated the writers’ copyrights by allowing applications containing their work to be distributed through its App Store, according to an official who answered the phone at the court and said he was the judge in the case. He refused to give his name, as is common among Chinese officials.

The award was less than the 12 million yuan ($1.9 million) sought by the authors. The case grouped together eight lawsuits filed by them and their publishers.

An Apple spokeswoman, Carolyn Wu, said the company’s managers “take copyright infringement complaints very seriously.” She declined to say whether the company would appeal.

Unlicensed copying of books, music, software and other products is widespread in China despite repeated government promises to stamp out violations.

Apple’s agreement with application developers requires them to confirm they have obtained rights to material distributed through the company’s App Store.

“We’re always updating our service to better assist content owners in protecting their rights,” Wu said.

The Chinese writers said they saw applications containing unlicensed versions of their books last year.

In November, a court ordered Apple to pay 520,000 yuan ($84,000) to the Encyclopedia of China Publishing House for copyright infringement in a separate case. Apple is appealing, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

In the latest case, the Beijing court awarded 605,000 yuan ($97,500) to one company and 21,500 yuan ($3,450) to the second, according to the court official.

The biggest individual judgment went to writer Han Ailian, who was awarded 186,000 yuan ($30,000).

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  • mannager

    We should stop buying anything from Chinese insect…..

  • mannager

    Better if you move to philippines Pilipino is more reliable than insect (Chinese).

  • mannager

    Apple should stay away dealing with Chinese , they should pull out of china .. These Chinese had no originality .

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/K3DGVC2KQZHSJKJUAGMO6HBYTY Felix

    How about them faking a whole Apple store complete with employees posing as “genuine” ones. Chinese manufacturers can register any brand as their own as long as it is not listed yet in China, then can make millions of them. It is their law but I call it thievery.

  • pubringjuandelacruz

    LOL!!! Chinese is asking for damage because of copyright infringement.

    Some Chinese never cease to amaze me! Amazing! 

  • http://www.braintecs.com wishfull thinking

    Really? What do they know about copyright? How about Apple sue the big factories in China for making billions of dollars worth of fake Apple products?

    • http://angelfreemovies.blogspot.com/ Angel Divera

      I think those copycat products are also financed/backed by their own govmnt. I think Apple cannot do that or they will find new country to make their own gadgets which certainly not  a viable option.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5EV2FNQUSNLESIPZKVIR43JSCI Juan Dela cruz

        Then they can always returned to Taiwan, since Foxconn who makes Apple products is base in Taiwan, and Taiwan factory workers are mostly Filipinos, so its good for us, we can send Filipino workers as many as we want. Or maybe perhaps Faxconn can transfer their factories in the Philippines if we have the right technology and tools to match the Chinese factories…

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