updated 07:11 pm EST, Thu December 27, 2012
Ruling marks end of year-long suit questioning Apple's app policies
A judge from the Chinese Second Intermediate People's Court in Beijing has determined that Apple is liable for the sale of works from eight authors whose works were consolidated into apps by other companies and sold through the App Store. The $165,000 fine is to be paid directly to the writers and companies who brought the suit, and is significantly less than requested by the claimants.
Apple had previously said during the trial that its app review personnel "take copyright infringement complaints very seriously" and the policies and procedures used in review are always being updated to "better assist content owners in protecting their rights."
The China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS) filed the suit in December of 2011, asking for 11.9 million yuan ($1.89 million) and then asked for nearly double the original damages over the summer after finding 25 additional infringing works. The group complained that Apple took too long to remove the content, or deferred the group to the offending app developers to rectify the complaints.
While not accusing Apple of direct piracy as part of the claims, the authors wanted Apple to verify the copyright of books before it published them to avoid a repeat of the violations. The American company wasn't honoring local laws, claimed the CWWCS in the suit. Apple has turned down the request, citing the impossibility of the task.