Apple Ordered To Pay Chinese Writers For Selling Pirated Software
December 28, 2012

Apple Ordered To Pay Chinese Writers For Selling Pirated Software

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

According to a Chinese-run Xinhua news source, Apple has been ordered by a Beijing court to pay a group of Chinese writers for selling pirated software allegedly owned by them. These writers had filed a suit against Apple earlier this year, claiming the iPhone maker had been selling third-party software in its App Store which pirated the writers´ e-books.

Now, the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People´s Court has ordered Apple to pay to the group of 8 writers (along with 2 other companies) sums totaling more than $160,000. The fine is but a percentage of what the group of writers had been looking for--about $1.6 million (10 million yuan).

Carolyn Wu, an Apple spokesperson took the opportunity to express how important copyright laws are to them, saying they took these complaints “very seriously.”

"We're always updating our service to better assist content owners in protecting their rights," she said in an interview with the BBC.

Having received so little as a result of this suit, the group of writers was obviously upset by the ruling. Speaking to Reuters, a spokesperson for the group said: "We are disappointed at the judgment. Some of our best-selling authors only got [$1122]. The judgment is a signal of encouraging piracy.”

This is the second time in four months that Apple has had to make a payment related to alleged copyright infringement. The Wall Street Journal, citing a Xinhua news source, said Apple also paid a small $8,300 to a Chinese encyclopedia publisher for alleged copyright infringement.

Apple was also more or less forced to pay out a much larger sum of money earlier this year in China, ending a long-running litigation.

Proview Technology had originally sold the iPad trademark to Apple just months before Steve Jobs took the stage to introduce his newest tablet to the world. After the iPad began selling well, the beleaguered Proview claimed Apple didn´t have rights to use the iPad trademark in China, saying the company had fooled them when they bought the trademark. In order to take the trademark off Proview´s hands without raising suspicion during the fever-pitched hype around this product, Apple used the moniker “IP Application Development” to purchase the “iPad” name. Proview, themselves nearly bankrupt, cried foul and took Apple to court over the matter.

Though it appeared as if Apple would handily win this battle, some Chinese courts were beginning to side with Proview, further extending the case. In order to bring the matter to an end (and finally deliver their Retina´d iPad to China) Apple settled with Proview, paying them $60 million. Proview had been seeking $400 million in order to pay off their debts.