A Chinese court has ordered the US-based Apple to pay $165,000 to eight Chinese writers for allegedly selling unlicensed electronic versions of their books online.
According to the official Xinhua News Agency, the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court ruled that Apple violated the writers’ copyrights by allowing applications to be distributed through its store that contained copies of their work.
In January this year, the group of eight writers, known as China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS), had filed a formal suit against Apple, claiming that the company’s iBooks electronic book store is distributing the works of a consortium of Chinese writers without their permission.
Apple was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying that its employees take copyright infringement complaints very seriously and the company was receptive to the input it has received from writers’ groups.
"We’re always updating our service to better assist content owners in protecting their rights," Apple said.
The latest suit is the second Chinese copyright related loss for the iPhone maker in the last three months.
In September this year, a Chinese court ordered Apple to pay $82,600 to an encyclopaedia publisher in the country for alleged copyright violation.
In July this year, Apple had reached an agreement with Proview Technology to pay $60m to end a long running trademark dispute between the two sides.
Prior to Apple, the CWWCS filed infringement lawsuits against search engines Google and Baidu.