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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Writers set to take on Apple in copyright fight

By Xu Chi (Shanghai Daily)

14:53, January 07, 2012

A Beijing court has accepted a case filed by nine renowned Chinese writers against Apple Inc, demanding 11.91 million yuan (US$1.88 million) for the sale of illegal downloads of their work on its App Store.

Bei Zhicheng, an official with a writer rights protection alliance, told the Shanghai Morning Post that Apple is probably the only big Internet-related company in the country to directly earn money from selling illegal downloads of books.

Bei told the newspaper that on the App Store, Apple may take 30 percent of total sales of illegal copies sold by other companies on the platform.

Bei said this was "total theft."

The writers' alliance has urged Apple to follow Chinese laws to provide copyright certification of books being sold at the App Store, but the company has refused to do so, claimed Bei.

Around 20 million people in China using Apple products and its App Store, but many don't know the platform is selling illegal copies of books, said Bei.

He said the platform has severely impacted on the legal book market as some illegal copies of books have been downloaded several million times at the App Store, costing authors millions of dollars.

The nine authors - who include famous writers Han Han, Li Chengpeng, Murong Xuecun - plan to sue Apple for illegally selling 37 works.

In March, 2011, Baidu, China's biggest online search engine, has to delete 2.8 million unauthorized works of literature, following protests.

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