updated 09:53 am EDT, Fri March 29, 2013
Claims animated movies sold without permission
A government-owned Chinese movie studio is suing Apple, charging that its animated movies are being sold on the App Store without permission, according to the South China Morning Post. Shanghai Animation Film Studio is best known for movies like The Monkey King, and is specifically accusing Apple Inc. and Beijing subsidiary Apple Electronics Products Commerce of violating intellectual property rights through unauthorized download services at the App Store. The two parties are accused of illegally selling over 110 SAFS movies, such as Calabash Brothers and Black Cat Detective. Demanded compensation is 3.3 million yuan, or about $531,000.
The case is being handled at the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court. Apple is refusing to comment, citing ongoing litigation, and SAFS is remaining relatively quiet as well. "We want to keep tight-lipped on this case because, as we see it, it's just a litigation in which we want to get compensation [for our product]," a studio official is quoted as saying. "It's a sensitive period now since Apple is a big multinational company and it is surrounded by controversies on its practices in China."
Apple has had to deal with a number of lawsuits in China, most recently a new one over voice recognition technology in Siri. On a broader level Apple has been accused of not maintaining decent labor and environmental standards at its suppliers, though some progress has been made in the past year.