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Chinese Writers Sue Apple Over IP Violations 143

Posted by samzenpus
from the gentlemen-start-your-litigation dept.
hackingbear writes "A group of 22 Chinese authors have filed a claim against Apple, alleging its App Store sells unlicensed copies of their books. The Writers Rights Alliance, founded by Han Han, a young popular Chinese author and the worlds' most popular blogger, who is known for his cynical criticism of the government, petitioned Apple last year to stop electronic distribution of the writers' books and had earlier persuaded Baidu, China's largest search engine, to stop publishing their material on its Baidu Library product."
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Chinese Writers Sue Apple Over IP Violations

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  • Re:hahahaah irony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crossmr (957846) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @07:12PM (#39398665) Journal

    How do you say moron in English?
    Do you think any of these authors were doing any infringing themselves, or were you just so desperate to make that predictable joke that you couldn't bother to take your brain out of idiot mode long enough to think about it?

  • Re:hahahaah irony (Score:4, Insightful)

    by digitig (1056110) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @07:13PM (#39398679)

    After all, there is only one Chinese person, with only one opinion, isn't there? Just as everybody on /. agrees about everything.

    ji1feng3, since you asked. Sorry, /. doesn't seem to let the Chinese script through.

  • wait a minute... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alienzed (732782) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @07:48PM (#39398859) Homepage
    I thought Intellectual Property laws protected creators from other creators, not from retailers... Apple's terms and conditions clearly state that anything submitted to their store must be legal to sell in the first place. This is a grab for attention, nothing else, and the accusers are only wasting their time.
  • Re:hahahaah irony (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 18, 2012 @08:47PM (#39399217)

    It's only ironic if you think that every one of the 1.3 billion people living China is the same, and each is in perfect agreement with their government. I.e., if you are stupid. I should probably also add racist because the former might interfere with some people's ability to figure it out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 18, 2012 @08:55PM (#39399257)

    I thought Intellectual Property laws protected creators from other creators, not from retailers... Apple's terms and conditions clearly state that anything submitted to their store must be legal to sell in the first place. This is a grab for attention, nothing else, and the accusers are only wasting their time.

    So it's perfectly legal to sell counterfeit goods so long as you didn't actually create said goods and your 'terms and conditions' state that you have been told by the supplier that the goods are legal to sell in the first place? Sounds like a nice way to absolve yourself of responsibility.

  • by ninetyninebottles (2174630) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @09:09PM (#39399325)

    Actually, I would argue that when done on a commercial scale it is theft. Since the people who obtain the infringing copy are paying for it, often believing they are paying the legitimate rights holder, one could say these very much are literally lost sales, and the infringer actually is stealing from the rights holder.

    Apple is the one making copies in this case so they are the copyright infringer. The company that licensed the copyright to Apple could be committing fraud by licensing things they don't have legal rights to. Neither action is theft.

    Theft is when you take something from someone, violating what most cultures believe to be the natural right to own goods. IP violations, on the other hand, are when you infringe upon a government granted monopoly on a particular kind of expression, expression which is itself a natural right. Confusing the two is promoting a very dangerous misunderstanding, that IP rights are somehow intrinsic and that you somehow naturally have the right to stop other people from repeating something you said or drawing a picture that looks like one you drew. This is not an unintentional problem. There has been a huge PR campaign for decades now to blur that distinction in the minds of the people to distract from the fact that in the US those IP rights are only supposed to be granted for the promotion of useful arts and sciences and that our current laws do no such thing, only funneling money into the hands of cartels that control distribution channels.

    So I say again, this is about copyright violation and please, please, please stop referring to it as theft. The distinction is vital.

  • Re:hahahaah irony (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 18, 2012 @10:02PM (#39399617)

    You mean exactly like the US after independence ?

  • Re:hahahaah irony (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 18, 2012 @11:16PM (#39399975)

    The same way that not every single American wants to bomb every other country, not every single Chinese makes millions by selling counterfeit products. Writers, in particular, tend to care about intellectual property, so it is not ironic that a writer has an issue with someone making money off his work without his permission. You see, people tend to have different opinions - even if they're Chinese - and what you're doing is stereotyping, putting a billion and a half persons on the same bag (while thinking you and possibly also the people you know are unique snowflakes).

    It would be ironic if the guy wrote a book preaching against intellectual property and then sued when someone infringed on his intellectual property.

  • Re:hahahaah irony (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 19, 2012 @03:39AM (#39400827)

    That being said, the Chinese government really needs to follow the rules of IP that other countries generally do if they want to be able to expect those other countries to treat the IP of their citizens with any respect.

    That's not likely to happen.
    U.S. courts are notorious for ignoring foreign countries IP. You don't hear much about it because smaller nations can't really throw any weight to protect their "rights". The Chinese have that weight and a willingness to copy, not only the products, but also the behaviour of the U.S.
    Unless there is a large policy-change in the courts of the U.S. then I wouldn't expect the Chinese to do anything but symbolic attempts to uphold the IP of other nations.

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