Apple has lost a lawsuit against Encyclopedia of China Publishing House over unauthorized digital copies of its encyclopedia were sold on the Apple’s App Store. Similar case happened last week, which Baidu lost a lawsuit against a Chinese writer and paid a Chinese writer nearly 100,000 yuan as the court ruled Baidu has failed to prevent pirated copies circulated through its Library service.
Encyclopedia’s lawsuit was filed in 2011. The publishing house found pirated copies of “China Encyclopedia” were being sold on Apple’s App store, and considered it had seriously violated its copyright. But Apple argued that the company wasn’t directly responsible for the violations, since they had no involvement in the development of the third-party apps. But the court ruled Apple was responsible since it had approved the application and profited from it by taking share of revenue. Originally, the publisher asked for more than 530,000 yuan ($82,600), but the final ruling came out with slighter smaller amount of compensation 520,000 yuan (around $82,600).
According to an Apple spokesperson commented on this ruling (via TNW):
“The App Store offers customers in China access to an incredible selection of over 700,000 apps created by Apple’s developer community. As an IP holder ourselves, Apple understands the importance of protecting intellectual property and when we receive complaints, as we did in this case, we respond promptly and appropriately.”
This ruling will certainly lead to more troubles for Apple, as the company is also being sued by a group of well-known Chinese authors over piracy issue. This case may seems ironic to some people since China itself is notorious for flouting international intellectual property laws, but it is worth noting that the country’s courts have recently been ruling in favor of the content owners.
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