Apple has been having problems with Chinese writers suing for unlicensed eBook distribution in the App Store. After a group of writers asked Apple for 10 million yuan in damages for unlawfully distributing copyrighted works in certain Chinese apps, the court has forced Apple to pay a smaller settlement fee of 1.03 million yuan, which is only about $165,000.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
A Beijing court ordered Apple Inc. to pay 1.03 million yuan, or about $165,000, to a group of local writers who said the U.S. gadget maker sold unlicensed copies of their books online, according to state media.
The state-run Xinhua news agency said Thursday that the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court ordered Apple to pay the money to eight Chinese writers and two companies for violating their copyrights.
This isn’t the first time Apple has faced a similar lawsuit in China. In September, Apple was ordered to pay 520,000 yuan to a Chinese encyclopedia publisher for distributing copyrighted work in the App Store without proper licensing.
It’s not that Apple itself is distributing this eBook material illegally, but publishers in the App Store were getting by with including the copyrighted content in their apps. Since Apple is the gatekeeper of the App Store, the Chinese court is making Apple pay.