updated 10:24 am EDT, Thu April 25, 2013
Company liable for some third-party violations
Beijing's No. 2 Intermediate People's Court has fined Apple over 730,000 yuan, or about $118,000, for infringing on the copyrights of three Chinese writers, reports say. The judge in the case, Feng Gang, states in his ruling that although the writers' books were uploaded for sale on iTunes by third parties, Apple has the duty of checking whether those books are in line with Chinese law. "The writers involved this time include Mai Jia, whose books are often on bestseller lists across the country," Feng writes. "In this way, Apple has the capability to know the uploaded books on its online store violated the writers' copyright."
Feng also warns that other companies with online stores should improve their verification systems. The case in fact represents a second batch of lawsuits directed at Apple by the Writers' Right Protection Union, a group specializing in defending Chinese writers' online copyrights. In China Apple has had to deal with numerous incidents of people making fraudulent uploads to the App Store.