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China Daily Website

Copyrights take a bite out of Apple

Updated: 2013-04-24 10:59
By CAO YIN ( China Daily)

Electronics giant Apple Inc was ordered to compensate three Chinese writers a total in excess of 730,000 yuan ($118,000) for infringing their copyright, Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court ruled on Tuesday.

However, experts said that copyright infringement on downloading platforms will continue and companies such as Apple will not change these services.

The cases were the second batch of lawsuits against Apple filed by the Writers' Right Protection Union, an organization that safeguards Chinese writers' online copyrights. The claim was that the writers' permission was not granted before their books were sold on the company's online App Store.

Wang Guohua, the writers' lawyers, told China Daily he was satisfied with the results. He said the compensation was higher than in most copyright infringement cases.

Apple's attorney refused to comment on the case.

Judge Feng Gang said Apple should take responsibility since, as a big online downloading platform, it has the duty of checking whether books uploaded by third parties are in line with current laws.

"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."

He suggested other technology companies with similar online platforms should learn from Apple's case and improve their verification systems to avoid similar disputes.

However, IT and copyright experts are pessimistic about the judge's suggestions.

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