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China The Almighty Buck The Courts Apple

Chinese Court Fines Apple For Copyright Violations 102

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
hackingbear writes "The Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court ruled in favor of a group of Chinese authors, and Apple will have to pay them in excess of 730,000 yuan (US$118,000) for infringement. Apple had not gotten permission before selling their books on the Apple App Store, it noted. These cases were the second batch of lawsuits filed against Apple by the Writers' Right Protection Union, which includes prominent members like prolific blogger and novelist Han Han who have become a pop culture star through his creative and cynical writings criticizing the (Chinese) government."
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Chinese Court Fines Apple For Copyright Violations

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  • I'm going to connect some of the dots provided in the summary, perhaps a little too liberally, but it sounds like the Chinese government ruled in favor of writers that are popular for criticizing the Chinese government.

    While I'm not their biggest fan, this is a pretty big step for them.

    Granted, it's not like they were explicitly ruling in favor of that so much as not wanting American corporations profiting off of things that are legitimately original Chinese works...ie, don't exploit our people unless you p

    • by firex726 (1188453)

      Maybe it's got more to do with sticking it to an American company. American companies don't usually have much luck in CHina regarding copyright claims.

      • In the past, they used to stick it to american or any non-chinese company by allowing them to build a factory in china to produce what they make, and then nationalizing that factory and kicking that company out of china. La voila! Instant new means of production for some item they were not capable of manufacturing before!
        • by sdsucks (1161899)

          Yup.

          Much of China's economy has been built on that concept, and also the idea of working with foreign corporations only long enough to learn their trade secrets and manufacturing techniques - once there is nothing more to learn, it is common for the Chinese companies to stop doing any business with their foreign partner.

          Of course, combine this with short-sighted American CEO's concerned only with quarterly profit, and China wins every time.

      • by leuk_he (194174) on Friday April 26, 2013 @08:38AM (#43554821) Homepage Journal

        Somebody uploaded best-sellers to the store. It is like some john doe uploads the (chinese) Dan Brown books to iTunes, and apple get 30% of all the sales.

        Too bad there are so many anti-chinese sentiments here. But this is really a case of chinese seaking part of apple making a boo boo.

        Note that in AmericaN law would allow up to $150,000 per infringment, the chise case was for multiple infringements, but the article does not state how much.

        • by firex726 (1188453)

          If you would have bothered to read OP's comment he is clearly trying to suggest that the government is for some reason becoming more open to to it's criticas by siding with them in a copyright suit which they historically side with their own regardless of the circumstances.

          > it sounds like the Chinese government ruled in favor of writers that are popular for criticizing the Chinese government.

          > While I'm not their biggest fan, this is a pretty big step for them.

      • American company? I'm not so sure about that. Every apple product I have has "Made in China" on it.

        • Wait till you hear where mom's apple pie is made.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by firex726 (1188453)

          Apple is not local to China.
          Just because something was made in CHina, does not mean it was not done for a foreign company.

        • by sessamoid (165542)

          American company? I'm not so sure about that. Every apple product I have has "Made in China" on it.

          I guess Dell isn't an American company either, then.

    • Re:So... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SmSlDoo (414128) on Friday April 26, 2013 @08:31AM (#43554763)

      My guess is that it is a ploy by the Chineese government to force the works to be removed from the App Store.

      If they requested directly to have the works removed they would get denied, but if they claim infringement towards the author they can get traction.

    • by Imrik (148191)

      It could also be seen as them trying to reduce the spread of these writers works.

  • by olip85 (1770514) on Friday April 26, 2013 @08:23AM (#43554705)

    ...North Korean court fines Canadian tourist for human rights violations.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples.gmail@com> on Friday April 26, 2013 @08:31AM (#43554771) Homepage Journal
    The China Daily article "Copyrights take a bite out of Apple" [chinadaily.com.cn] quotes someone: "The verification must rely on human power." It states that the judge assumed that all service providers should have known the entire text of all bestsellers: "'The writers involved this time include Mai Jia, whose books are often on best-seller lists across the country,' he said. 'In this way, Apple has the capability to know the uploaded books on its online store violated the writer's copyright.'" It appears that China lacks a counterpart to the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA), the arguably "good" part of the DMCA, namely a standardized takedown procedure that online service providers can rely on to avoid liability for copyright infringements committed by their users. (A recent ruling against Grooveshark [slashdot.org] showed that the United States also appears to lack this for pre-1972 sound recordings.)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If it was a Chinese company being sued in America, the bill would've landed on $118 billion.

  • Is this April 1? Oh wait , it is a Chinese entity making the claim, so they care. Stealing American/Euro IP and mass producing it if a-ok, just don't do it to them!
  • ...where they write about what the Chinese government is doing to the people who stole the copyrighted materials, presented them as their own, and reaped the other 70% of the proceeds. Same thing as the Amazon/1984 debacle. Apple's only error is (perhaps) in not doing "enough" to keep OTHER people from breaking Chinese copyright laws.

  • Thought for a second I'd read that headline backwards.

  • irony (Score:4, Informative)

    by shentino (1139071) on Friday April 26, 2013 @09:14AM (#43555135)

    Does anyone besides me find it ironic that the piracy capital of the world managed to sue a US company? And win?

    Of all the places to lose a copyright infringement case as a defendant...how the hell did it happen in China of all places?

    • Does anyone besides me find it ironic that the piracy capital of the world managed to sue a US company? And win?

      Of all the places to lose a copyright infringement case as a defendant...how the hell did it happen in China of all places?

      Simple. Copyright holder sues unlicensed distributor of content. Funny how those crazy laws work, eh? I mean, wow! It's like they totally disregarded the American and Chinese "Pirate" citizens, and just had a case over copyright infringement between businesses that didn't wind up costing some huge ridiculous millions in damages. That's INSANE! LOL, silly China.

  • 1. Criticise government
    2. Become popular
    3. Sue people
    4. Government's court sides with you

    I see some positive news in there. Apparently, you can be critical of the government, and still have the government support you.

  • Funny how Chinese would pursue copy right violations seeing how they dupe and sell things daily.

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