Apple Ordered to Pay Chinese Writers in eBook Settlement

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The Wall Street Journal reports that Chinese courts have ordered Apple to pay a group of Chinese writers $165,000 for unlawfully distributing copyrighted works in certain Chinese apps.
    The writers had asked for 10 million yuan and Apple was ordered to pay a fraction of that. Unlicensed eBook distribution has been a problem for Apple of late, as the report notes that the company had a similar issue back in September. Apple isn't intentionally distributing the copyrighted content itself, but because the company is the gatekeeper for the digital stores, the Chinese courts are requiring Apple to pay.

    Article Link: Apple Ordered to Pay Chinese Writers in eBook Settlement
  2. Kaibelf Suspended


    Apr 29, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Close down the Chinese bookstore then, since the country wants to hold them responsible for the actions of their devs. After all, China doesn't want people to get "unauthorized" information to people anyway.
  3. Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    Whenever I read anything that the Chinese complain about with copyright, unauthorized distribution etc. I have to laugh.

    Sad as it is:)
  4. CindyRed macrumors member


    May 26, 2011
    I read this article on my mePhone then looked for the original story on my myPad.
  5. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Not that what you say is entirely true, but it works both way. When Lodsys sued many developers, Apple stood up for them.
  6. mw360 macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2010
    Don't be stupid, Apple pays out for this, then sues whoever submitted the apps/books for compensation. Simple legal processes taking place. Apple probably aren't troubled by this at all.
  7. martial900, Dec 28, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012

    martial900 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2012
    Need for improved legal wording put in bold if necessary

    I do not know who approved the ebook titles to appear in chinese itunes in the first place. That person is responsible for uploading them and failing to show verified authorization from the original publisher attached to the ebook submission. Since Apple we know profits. Its clear that these angry customers need their money back. Its a matter of checking their logbooks. I am glad that Apple isnt ordered to pay 90% more.
  8. NakedPaulToast macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2009
    As the distributor of the infringing material Apple should have some liability. Now what Apple should do is go after the ones who uploaded the books. They may not be able to recover all or any of their damages, but financially breaking them will serve as a pretty good incentive for others.
  9. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire
    Why didn't the writers sue the people who uploaded the books directly instead of going after Apple ? Answer - Apple has more money.

    I would not be surprised if it was a scam where the group of writers arranged to have someone upload the books so the writers could sue :D.
  10. NakedPaulToast, Dec 28, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012

    NakedPaulToast macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2009
    I don't know if China has a Jointly and Severally Liability Doctrine, but this ruling suggests that they might. This doctrine, which is used in most of the states, makes it incumbent on the defendants to work out who owes what percentage, so the plaintiff doesn't have to.

    For example, if a bunch of punks (5) trashed your car and caused $5,000 damage. You should not have to sue each one for $1,000. You just have to go after one for the amount, and then he has to settle amongst the rest.

    And yes, it's pretty standard to go after the easiest target.
  11. theelysium Suspended


    Nov 18, 2008
    That's BS. Chinese citizens are creating junk lawsuits to try to sue for huge amounts of unwarranted cash. China has the WORTS copy right laws. They allow pirated media and consumer goods. The fact that they would actually try to uphold any type copy right lawsuit reflects the flaws of Communism and the crookedness of Chinese courts.
  12. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2009
    For consumers, piracy is a good thing:
    1) It lets people to get something which they could not afford to buy under any possible conditions
    2) It makes companies to reasonably price their products.
  13. Kaibelf Suspended


    Apr 29, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    1) The way I was raised, that's called "stealing." Especially if it's a luxury that they shouldn't have if they didn't work for the money to afford, and they don't need it to live.
    2) It drives up the prices for everyone else, because we have to compensate for YOUR lack of proper rearing.
  14. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2009
    Piracy is the equivalent of stealing a car that duplicates itself when it gets stolen.
    And now there are two cars. The horror. :eek:
  15. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    It seems that the people suing had written books, and these books were sold through Apple, without any of the money going to the authors. Why would that money be unwarranted? At the very least I would expect the authors to get 70% of the purchase price, as if Apple had signed a contract with them. More likely 100% since there was no contract allowing Apple to keep some money. I would actually think that a higher amount would be warranted, since an author would set the price of an eBook to maximise profit taking into account the cannibalisation of printed book sales, while the scammers didn't.

    That would be risking jail for fraud. In the UK, serious time for perverting the course of justice.
  16. lyrical1, Dec 28, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013

    lyrical1 macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2012
    So it means that though apple is not responsible for the copyrights issue independently, it is required to pay that way.
  17. mw360 macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2010
    Dude, both those things are completely contradictory. What you meant to say was, it helps people get for free some reasonably priced items they could easily afford to pay for.


    Piracy is the equivalent of duplicating currency. The only victim is every law abiding person who's goods/money just got devalued by greedy freeloaders.
  18. mikechan1234 macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2010
    People here just don't quite understand how important the Chinese market is to Apple. Apple need the Chinese market more than the Chinese need Apple. :rolleyes:
  19. gnasher729, Dec 28, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012

    gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Apple is (it seems) required to pay money to the victim. We don't know how the amount to be paid was calculated; it is quite obvious that Apple should pay 70% of the revenue to the copyright holder, just as they pay 70% of the revenue to _every_ copyright holder. The amount required by the court may be more.

    Apple's app store contract also says that they can request 100% of the revenue back from the scammer, and I'm sure if Apple's cost was more than that they can take the scammer to court for their cost as well. If the scammer has any money.

    Seven people voted this up. Amazing.

    People who steal books or music or videos or software are thieves, not consumers. For consumers, piracy is _not_ a good thing. Piracy increases the price that has to be charged to make a profit, and it can lead to copy prevention measures that harm consumers. And when you say "reasonably price" I assume you mean "sell cheaper", right? That's not happening. Companies know that thieves are thieves and they are going to steal if they can, no matter what the price is. Changing prices won't affect piracy.

    Piracy is the equivalent of using a bus or taxi without paying, sneaking into a movie theatre without paying, or going to a theatre where musicians and actors try to make a living by putting up a performance for a paying audience, and some bastard thinks "these guys are on the stage whether I pay or not, so I might as well sneak in without a ticket".
  20. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Why wouldn't it be 100% or 100% minus Apple's costs such as credit card processing fees? They don't have the right to sell such a thing, so they don't necessarily get to derive profit from it. I don't see it as a big deal if they aren't eating major costs as well.
  21. coolspot18 macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2010
    Piracy is not equivalent to your examples - no resources are lost when software is duplicated. Software can be duplicated ad infinitum with no degradation or perceptible cost.

    I'm not saying piracy is right - but it is not the same as stealing a physical item.
  22. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Apr 29, 2003
    Exactly. What is right is decided by local law and customs, piracy is only information exchange like taping the radio or tv. Certainly not the same as depriving someone of a tangible item. One could also argue that profiteering is essentially the same thing as piracy via depreciation, and lots of those practices are apparently legal.
  23. BlazednSleepy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2012
    That's money from under the couch cushion for Apple. lol
  24. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Yeah, and if that was so then no one would buy cars anymore, would they? Because they could just duplicate someone else's.


    Sneaking into a movie theatre without paying isn't losing anyone any resources, is it?
  25. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2009
    It seems that you used to think about software in the following way:
    "If you cannot afford it, you do not need it. It is not essential to life."

    Yet, my university students just have to use the pirated software!
    They cannot afford spending $1000 on Matlab, cannot afford spending $600 on Multisim, and so on.
    And if they do not pirate all these software, there is a very high risk of bad marks, or even dropout!

    So, there is nothing wrong happens when they pirate some "premium" software, do their homework,
    and uninstall it after the end of the course - to free a disk space for new pirated software, used in the next course.

    And that is not a single case. My friend is a prominent doctor, he cured a lot of people.
    Recently, I have discovered that he uses a ton of pirated medical software, which helps him a lot.
    He cannot afford buying it: because he works in a public hospital, his wage is really low.
    I cannot come up with a single reason, why he should stop using that software!

    That is not equivalent.
    When the currency is duplicated, it is used to affect the outside world (e.g. buy something for these forged money)
    When you install a pirated software on your computer, usually it does not affect the outside world at any way.
    Nobody from the outside world cares about what is stored on your harddrive inside your computer in your basement!

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