back to article Chinese court orders Apple to cough £100k to writers for violating copyright

Apple got a nasty post-Christmas present in China on Thursday when a Beijing court hit it with a 1.03m yuan (£102,000) fine after ruling the fruity tech titan was responsible for applications which appeared on its App Store containing unlicensed content. The Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court concluded that Apple had …


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  1. David 45


    £102,000? A mere drop in the ocean that certainly won't give anyone at Apple sleepless nights!

    1. Bob Vistakin

      Re: Peanuts

      It is financially, but there are many like me who would just like to add their voice to the good chuckle everyone is having at the fanbois embarrassment - yet another in the avalanche set to grow throughout 2013 as more and more of their desperate patents get overturned.

      Chip chip chip till the damn bursts, I reckon. It's a smart move - go back to the original patents one by one to get them struck off, then the subsequent court cases are a no brainer to overturn: Apples worst nightmare, in effect, just at the time it's plumb out of innovation and the courts take a dump on any of their future trivial round corner jokes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Peanuts

        Yes - take any story about Apple, ignore the content and talk about something else - the story was about copyright not patents. Do you really imagine this story could not be the same one day but with Google replaced by Apple or are they whiter than the driven snow?

    2. LarsG

      Re: Peanuts

      Not to the Chinese it isn't, it's a huge amount of money compared to the Chinese living wage of 23p per day. The pay out is relative.

      The court also doesn't want to over indulge the claimants with millions, otherwise they might get ideas above their station.

  2. Benjamin 4

    If people are successfully suing for copyright infringement in China Apple must be doing really badly!

    1. nuked

      Yeah, like not infringing copyright

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    China has a copyright law?

    Who knew?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: China has a copyright law?

      Ironic huh!

    2. Armando 123

      Re: China has a copyright law?

      Yes, their copyrigth clearly states "All your copyright are belong to us!"

      Mine's the one with the 1999 calendar in it.

      1. Darkwolf

        Re: China has a copyright law?

        I thought it was "We will copy it, right?"

  4. Trollslayer

    It's a start

    Apple got away with too much e.g. abuse of patents for rounded corners.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's a start

      Patents and copyright are not the same thing. Your name 'trollslayer' is ironic as well.

  5. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge


    because the plantiffs were Chinese nationals.......

  6. jrd

    Hmm, government puts the interests of its' own citizens ahead of those of foreign multinational companies, who would have expected that? I wonder if that'll catch on in the West too...

    1. Fatman

      RE: I wonder if that'll catch on in the West too...

      Not if $GLOBAL_BIG_CORPS gets their way with buying politicians off.

  7. Chad H.

    They get criticised for acting too soon with that speak n say app for disabled kids, and not soon enough on this one....0

  8. JaitcH

    "copyright infringement complaints very seriously".

    Only when someone steals the logo or name ... that Apple stole from others!

    Or if someone tries to use their software in non-Apple hardware.

    Otherwise Apple doesn't give a damn although it is busy filing prior art patents which, in a way, is like stealing copyright from others.

    1. Fatman

      Re: "copyright infringement complaints very seriously".


      A spokeswoman for Apple told the BBC that the company takes "copyright infringement complaints very seriously".

      "We're always updating our service to better assist content owners in protecting their rights," she added.

      sounds like bullshit speak to me.

      Hey el Reg, how about a bullshit icon?? Please??

  9. mIRCat

    And a bottle of rum

    Pirating apps is bad.

    Pirating content is good. (for business)

    Apple: Do as we say not as we do?

  10. El_Fev

    Bit confused...

    Why didn't these people sue the apps that ware nicking their content ?Surely the authors are in China?? How the fuck is it Apples fault?

    Just ask Apple for the account details of these people, and away you go.

    1. Mad Chaz

      Re: Bit confused...

      Because Apple CHECKS all software that goes into the store, remember? To keep the porn out among other things? That makes it Apple's problem.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bit confused...

        Yeah must be better to live in a world where the app store owner does not give a damm and lets anything get published. Don't imagine Apple will be too fussed about 100k - they probably made more profits in the time it took you to read this article.

    2. Eddy Ito

      Re: Bit confused...

      "Just ask Apple for the account details of these people, and away you go."

      You really expect that to work without a year of legal wrangling? I know it's China but I don't imagine Apple just coughs up account details at every drop of the hat. Maybe Apple does hand out information that isn't listed on the store's app page but if they do it's a bit disturbing that any Tom, Dick or Mary can get any info they want about any developer, corporate or individual, in the app store.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bit confused...

      here, not hard.

      Apple are publishing the content, which HAS to be vetted (so cannot claim it's an un-moderated site).

      Apple are making profits from above copyright theft.

      It had been notified of the infringement, but did nothing.

      Therefore Apple are responsible for what happens in their app store, but choose to put profits before responsibility.

      Bit like driving the getaway car in a bank robbery, but claiming you didn't actually steal any money, so your innocent and you should go after the ones with guns.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Takes very seriously blah we are always blah

    Fine management bollocks-speak there, which most of us will take as much notice of as we do of all management bollocks-speak

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Takes very seriously blah we are always blah

      This was an isolated issue and does not reflect the standard of comments made generally, but votes are taken seriously, and I am working with my partners to understand how a down vote could have happened in this instance.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Takes very seriously blah we are always blah

        It was done by a management drone, who was promoted to a level to suit his incompetence and therefore has to talk bullshit in order to hide his complete lack of knowledge of the subject he is talking about.

  12. Ross K Silver badge

    "China’s Copyright Law" ????

    China’s Copyright Law

    Seriously? Chinese courts actually enforce copyright law?

    That's a laugh.

    1. david 12 Silver badge

      Re: "China’s Copyright Law" ????

      China has no tradition of copyright censorship. Rather, they had a tradition of state subsidy for supported writers (and a very low literacy rate, restricted to the civil-service management class)

      However, like all countries without a copyright censorship tradition (the obvious example is the USA), they have to consider if the value of copyright control balances the cost of copyright control. China considers that they are at that balance point, and have been gradually growing support for copyright control. As in AUS (and I assume everywhere), that has meant substantial restatement of their IPO laws to conform to treaty obligations, including the Customs Law (January 2001), the Regulations on Customs Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (January 2004) and the Rules for Implementing the Regulations on Customs Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (July 2004).

      Another interesting example is PNG. Even though PNG passed a copyright law in 1978, it was not brought into force. After considerable discussion over 20 years, PNG brought in new laws in 2000. As John Nonggorr wrote in 1995:

      "if Papua New Guinea wants its copyright material (books, music, etc) produced by Papua New Guineans to be protected in [other countries] ..., it must join an international scheme providing such protection"

  13. Dana W

    Maybe someday they will enforce copyright laws on the actual CHINESE.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe someday they will enforce copyright laws on the actual CHINESE

      Yeah, like the Merkans do when their cash cow copies others

      1. Dana W

        Re: Maybe someday they will enforce copyright laws on the actual CHINESE

        The Chinese rip off everyone. But since they are the worlds industrial powerhouse, they are above the laws in a way that make the corporations around the world very jealous.

        When is the last time a Chinese court EVER made a big judgment AGAINST a Chinese company?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That isn't a fine

    Tim Cook spends more than that on lunch.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple strategy

    Its been that way all along. Copy to your heart's content. IF caught, settle, or counter sue till the cows come home.

    Whats new there? Typical bully.

    They just pretend to be holier than thou!

    AT least Samsung stands up to them every inch of the way.

  16. ssfk

    nasty post-Christmas present for Apple?

    Given the unfair and unbalanced news reporting against the ordinary chinese people from the western media, and above all the aloof attitude arrogance from Apple towards the East, It's only deserving that Apple receive a taste of their own medicine.

    Afterall, the ordinary chinese folks have suffered much from their own government as well as the "put-downs" from the Amercian "I dont care less about you" except profits. - Its really sweet that justice plays a hand.

    There is much more to it than just whats reported with regards to Copyright and Apple from a chinese perspective. At least the east's economy will improve ahead of the west slowly but surely.

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