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Chinese court order Apple to pay £100k for copyright violation

Apple were hit in China with a £102,000 fine after a ruling which said they were responsible for applications which appeared on its App Store containing unlicensed content.

The Beijing No 2 Intermediate People’s Court said that Apple had violated China’s Copyright Law and have ordered it to pay up to the plantiffs. Eight Chinese writers who formed the China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS) will get compensation.

Apple Insider added that the decision, while a victory was much lower than the 23 million yuan (£2.3 million) claim that they filed back in February.

Author Murong Xuecun, left, and CWWCS Executive Bei Zhicheng. ( Source: The Asahi Shimbun)

They claimed that Apple knew about the illegal content for some time but didn’t make an active effort to remove the applications and told the writers to contact the pirate app developers themselves, directly.

Apple seem to be slow in learning, as this has happened before when Chinese authors have sought compensation for applications which contained unlicensed copies of their works.

In March the Writer’s Rights Alliance of 22 authors filed a £5 million lawsuit which related to 95 books sold illegally on the App Store.

Another case highlighted the arrogance of some Apple staff when a Taiwanese writer and film director was branded an ‘idiot’ by company executives in Hong Kong. He flew to the region to confront the company over a long running copyright saga and was apparently treated in a less than ideal manner. He was trying to get Apple to remove copyright infringing applications containing his content.

Kitguru says: It is small change for such a huge company, but they do need to tighten their rules on copyright violation via their App Store.

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