Sunday, 30 September 2012 12:28

Apple found guilty in piracy case

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A Chinese court ruled that the Cupertino company, mostly known for their original ideas and patents on everything (sarcasm), was responsible for the sale of unauthorized digital copies of an encyclopedia published by Encyclopedia of China Publishing House. Even though the publisher asked for RMB 530,000 ($84,200), the final judgment that came on Thursday by Beijing's Second Intermediate People's Court was that Apple needs to pay a bit lower sum, RMB 520,000 ($82,600).

The case was brought to court back in 2010, with a claim that apps sold via Apple's App store contained pirated versions of a Chinese encyclopedia for which Apple didn’t have any sort of publishing rights. Apple tried to act innocent and defended themselves with a statement that they have no involvement in the development of third-party apps, but the court found them guilty. Apple has to approve the apps before they are published in the App Store and that was enough for the court to render a verdict.

Not only was it found that Apple approved these apps with pirated content, but they also made a profit from it, so it is pretty ridiculous from them to act innocent as usual. An Apple representative stated that “The App Store offers customers in China access to an incredible selection of over 700,000 apps created by Apple’s developer community. As an IP holder ourselves, Apple understands the importance of protecting intellectual property and when we receive complaints, as we did in this case, we respond promptly and appropriately.” This is not the only piracy case that Apple is involved in currently; there are also nine Chinese writers that are suing them for stealing their work and allowing it to be sold via the App Store, asking for $3.65 million. That is double amount that the case was at the beginning, as Apple “accidentally” added 26 more infringing products to the App Store.

[Ed – The irony in this bit of news is not lost on anyone that has followed Apple and their company’s growth. Apple maintains very tight control over what Apps you can and cannot publish. Apple even has a blanket ban on any product developed in using Adobe’s Flash. For them to claim they are not responsible is quite ludicrous. The final damages are only a drop in the bucket for Apple so we doubt that this case will be of any real consequence to them in the long run. They will continue to do business as they always have….]

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