Apple Sued by Chinese Writers Group

March 18, 2012

For all of the good news Apple received this week, whatwith the massive cash reserve they currently have and the smashing success of the new iPad, Apple just can’t seem to shake bad news in the courts. On the heels of losing an appeal and having another case suspended in Germany, Apple is now being sued by a group of Chinese authors in Beijing, China.

So why are the authors–known as the Writers Rights Alliance–suing Apple? Well, it appears that Apple may be selling unlicensed copies of the authors books through the App Store. The books allegedly can be purchased through the App Store or the built-in iBooks application that is included on iOS devices including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

According to the claim, Apple has been selling pirated versions of roughly 95 books. The claim comes after the Writers Rights Alliance petitioned Apple in 2011 to stop electronically distributing the books through Apple’s App Store. It seems that Apple did not obey this claim and now they’re paying wifor it with what could be a very costly court suit.

Apple

The Writers Rights Alliance wants $50 million yuan (or $8 million in USD) from Apple in compensation.

Apple, for their part, seems to be willing now to work with the Writers Rights Alliance to resolve the manner. Acording to Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu, “as an IP holder ourselves, we understand the importance of protecting intellectual property, and when we receive complains we respond promptly and appropriately.”

This isn’t the first lawsuit for Apple in China (they are still locked in a battle with Chinese firm Proview Technology) and it’s not likely to be the last, as Apple is still dealing with allegations of poor working conditions at the Foxconn plant in China, which is responsible for building the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Given the bad press Apple is getting in China, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Apple lose this court case as well.

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