Apple Under Fire For Pirating Chinese Cartoons In iTunes Movie Store

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Apple can’t catch a break in China lately. The Chinese state run press has been targeting Apple in a series of increasingly vicious attack pieces, while Apple simultaneously defends itself in court against allegations of patent violation. Now, China’s oldest animation studio is accusing Apple of stealing their movies and selling them on the iTunes store, without paying a cent.

The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post is reporting that Shanghai Animation Film Studio — the first movie studio established by a communist party, and in many was the Disney of China, having released several popular animated films such as The Monkey King — is suing Apple for 3.3 million yuan (or around $500,000), saying Apple is selling its movies without permission.

Apple Under Fire For Pirating Chinese Cartoons In iTunes Movie Store

Apple is accused of violating the copyrights of 110 works, with Shanghai Animation Film Studio allegedly discovering Apple selling pirated copies of their movies in July last year.

Apple has yet to comment on the lawsuit, although it seems likely that this is an example of an unscrupulous middleman selling Shanghai Animation’s movies through iTunes without Apple’s knowledge, rather than an actual ethical lapse on Apple’s part.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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