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Apple Sued by Encyclopedia of China, Appeal Makes Little Progress

Being a market leader puts one in a tough position at times, as it is very easy to make a few enemies and step on a few toes, especially in a new market . Apple has not been taking careful steps lately in China. They narrowly escaped losing their iPad patent in Mainland China’s earlier this year, and now they are being sued for copyright infringement, and it looks like they will probably have to pay up.

Apparently Apple has not been monitoring its Chinese App Store these past few years as much as it should be. The case began in October 2010, when the Encyclopedia of China Publishing House, the company behind China’s first large-entry encyclopedia released in 1993, discovered that much of their work was being made available on Apple’s App Store via an application that charged a mere $20.99 for ALL the content.

In September this year, the Encyclopedia of China successfully won their case against Apple in a first circuit court for providing their Encyclopedia content in full on App Store. Specifically, a large percentage of the Encyclopedia content was made available to iPhone and iPad users, including the entire third volume first edition of the Encyclopedia of Chinese History. Apple was told to pay an initial 520,000 yuan ($83,531).

Apple claims that this is too much, and in its defense claims that the App Store content is not under their direct authority and that it was a third party company who was at fault. They have since appealed to a second city circuit court to re-decide the case, yet it looks like they are making little progress.

The second court hearing states that Apple could easily be identified as the operator based on the facts shown and that they have not sufficiently proven that a third-party was involved. Therefore, it should be recognized that it was Apple’s own authority. Furthermore, the hearing says that even if a third-party developed the application, Apple was alone in deciding the distribution process and has already profited from the sales, therefore it constitutes a joint violation of the copyright.

The case is still ongoing, but it does not look so good for Apple.

Source: Sina Tech

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