Apple has been ordered to compensate three Chinese writers for infringing their copyrights when it made their books available on the App Store without first seeking their permission. The Cupertino company will pay more than ¥730,000 ($118,000) for the infringement.
To be clear, the books were submitted to the App Store by a third-party; Apple didn’t just publish them itself. But nevertheless, the company has been held responsible because it did not adhere to current laws and seek permission from the original authors.
Feng Gang, the judge presiding over the case filed by the Writers’ Right Protection Union, noted that one of the titles was from best-selling Chinese author Mai Jia, and that Apple should have known the uploaded title violated the writers’ copyright.
“The writers involved this time include Mai Jia, whose books are often on bestseller lists across the country,” he said. “In this way, Apple has the capability to know the uploaded books on its online store violated the writers’ copyright.”
Feng insisted other companies should learn from this case and improve their approval processes to prevent similar disputes in the future.
Lawyer Wang Guohua, who represented the writers, told the China Daily newspaper that happy with the outcome of the case, which resulted in more compensation than most copyright infringement cases. Apple’s lawyer declined to comment.