Chinese publishing house sues Apple for copyright infringement
Encyclopedia of China Publishing House has filed suit in a Beijing court against Apple Co. and one of its Chinese subsidiaries, alleging Apple violated the publisher's "right to network dissemination of information" by selling apps equipped with its encyclopedia content, the Beijing Business Herald reported.
The publishing company said it discovered last October that Apple was selling iPhone and iPad apps that included substantial, unlicensed portions of its Encyclopedia of China, in violation of copyright laws.
The suit seeks an injunction against sale of the software and 535,200 yuan in compensation for economic losses caused by the infringement.
The publisher's move puts Apple back in the defendant's seat for the second time in a month. Beijing LeTV Mobile Media & Technology Co. sued the U.S. tech giant in late April for infringing its right to exclusive network dissemination of "Painted Skin" and other films by providing unlicensed, paid downloads.
Apple's App Store is widely considered the most mature platform for mobile applications, with about 370,000 apps available for download. But because of management problems, the online store has become a disaster area of video and print copyright infringement.
Every work uploaded to the App Store must be reviewed and approved by Apple, said Liu Chuang, a lawyer at Beijing Ocean Law Firm. Apple failed to fulfill this duty in this case, and as a result, Encyclopedia of China has a good chance of winning, he said.
"In today's world of widespread tablet computers, users have strong demand for books on mobile devices," Liu said. "This will lead to a large increase in these types of cases for some time to come."
China's business press carried the story above on Friday.