Apple ordered to pay $83,000 in copyright suit

Updated: 2012-09-28 19:52


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Apple Inc must pay 520,000 yuan ($82,509) to the Encyclopedia of China Publishing House in a copyright-infringement case, Beijing's No 2 Intermediate People's Court ruled on Thursday.

The publishing company said it discovered last October that Apple was selling iPhone and iPad applications that included substantial, unlicensed portions of its Encyclopedia of China, in violation of copyright laws, according to reports from the Beijing Business Herald.

All content of Chinese History's third volume from the Encyclopedia of China's first edition was included in the application available at App Store, priced at $20.99.

The suit seeks an injunction against sale of the software and more than 530,000 yuan in compensation for economic losses caused by the infringement.

Apple Inc and Apple Electronic Commerce Co, one of its Chinese subsidiaries, said they were not operators of the App Store and they didn't do what they were accused of, according to the report.

The court, however, said that because Apple Inc and Apple Electronic Commerce Co failed to prove the application was developed by a third party, the court made the finding that the application was self-developed by Apple.

Wang Qian, professor from Shanghai's East China University of Political Science and Law Intellectual Property Institute, said Apple has joint obligation to share even it approves the third party developed the application.

"Apple is like video website such as YouTube in this case — the website has the obligation to delete video that involves infringement even it was uploaded by a web user," Wang said.

Apple's App Store is considered the most mature platform for mobile applications, with about 370,000 apps available for download. But the online store has become a haven of video and print copyright infringement.