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Apple Ordered to Pay $165,000 in Chinese Copyright Case

Apple Ordered to Pay $165,000 in Chinese Copyright Case

A Chinese court has ordered Apple to pay pay 1.03 million yuan, around $165,000, to a group of writers who claimed their work was pirated and sold through the App Store.

Author Murong Xuecun, (left), and CWWCS Executive Bei Zhicheng – Source: The Asahi Shimbun


A judge from Beijing’s Second Intermediate People’s Court found Apple to be liable for the sale of unlicensed works by eight local writers, which were repurposed as apps and distributed through the App Store, reports The Wall Street Journal. The fine will be meted out to the group of writers and two companies involved in the case.

The damages awarded were far below what was sought by the China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS), a group of eight writers that filed a revised claim in February asking for 23 million yuan ($3.65 million), or nearly double the original complaint’s 11.9 million yuan ($1.89 million).

Responding to the ruling,  Apple said its employees “take copyright infringement complaints very seriously” and that the company is “always updating our service to better assist content owners in protecting their rights.”

CWWCS had claimed that Apple knew about the pirated versions since July 2011 and was slow to remove the apps from its online store. The company had reportedly told the group to contact the pirates on their own, but this has not been verified.