Apple Loses Copyright Case In China Over Infringing Copies Of China Encyclopedia

from the be-careful-what-you-wish-for dept

We've pointed out for years that every time the US (mainly) pushes China to be stronger on IP laws, it backfires. Chinese officials know damn well that government granted monopolies are trade barriers that can be used to bludgeon the competition -- and they almost always use IP laws against foreign companies and to protect domestic Chinese companies. So, just a day after China (once again) defended its respect for copyright, it seems worth noting that a Chinese court found Apple guilty of copyright infringement over a product called the China Encyclopedia:
The court ruled the publishing house is the only legitimate copyright owner of the Chinese History Volume of "China Encyclopedia", first edition. Its copyright is protected by Chinese laws. No organization or individual shall spread the involved content through the information network without the copyright owner's permission.

The publishing house found in October 2010 that iTunes software, which can be downloaded from a website run by Apple Electronic Products Trade (Beijing) Co Ltd, allows users to purchase and download a large part of "China Encyclopedia" from the App Store for iPhones and iPads.
Apple tried to defend itself by pointing out, quite reasonably, that it does not create all the products in the iTunes store, but the court ruled that "Apple should bear the responsibility for the App Store copyright infringement." Oh, and apparently this was just the first of a whole bunch of similar cases that have been filed against Apple. To those of you who think that China needs to show more "respect" for copyright: be careful what you wish for.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 5:43am

    Protectionism, not really copyright, Mike.

    "almost always use IP laws against foreign companies and to protect domestic Chinese companies."

    IF you knew anything about economics, the distinction would be obvious at once.

    "be careful what you wish for"? -- Well, particularly against Apple, the darling of dolts, this looks like win-win from my view!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 5:52am

    There's a thing in many Asian religions called 'Karma'.

    Considering this is Apple, the company using it's legal department to stifle competition with lawsuits over patents and copyrights on stupid stuff like 'rounded edges', this is Karma returning right back to Apple.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 5:54am

    Pot, meet Kettle

    Perfect result, one of the most IP lawsuit wielding companies gets smacked down by the IP of others.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    fiestachickens (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 5:59am

    Re: Protectionism, not really copyright, Mike.

    Sure, copyright and protectionism are distinct things from a theoretical point of view. But in the real world where copyright is a multifaceted tool for bullying other people, businesses and even countries, I don't see much point in calling out the difference.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Roman, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 5:59am

    Apple can't have it both ways

    Apple always touts the things in its store as if it's responsible, and warns jailbreakers that something not-approved by them isn't safe or could get you in trouble, that's why you should trust them to be the gatekeeper responsible for how you do your computing. Then when something is wrong suddenly they're no-longer responsible. Apple cannot have it both ways.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 6:06am

    It is impossible for me to feel sorry for the scum that is Apple.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 6:16am

    Re: Protectionism, not really copyright, Mike.

    Everyone here understands the difference between IP laws and protectionism. That doesn't exclude the very real possibility, which is actually occurring, of using IP laws as a means of protectionism.

    Please don't post unless you have something useful, or at the very least funny to contribute.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 6:17am

    Re: Apple can't have it both ways

    > that's why you should trust them to be the gatekeeper
    > responsible for how you do your computing

    Gatekeeper of what you can read, view, and possibly even think.

    Think Different

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 6:21am

    Re: Re: Protectionism, not really copyright, Mike.

    I dunno, ootb's idiocy is goood for a LOL or the occasional ROTFL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 6:22am

    Re: Re: Apple can't have it both ways

    Think like it's 1984

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 6:37am

    Re: .../

    "'Karma' is just 'Catholic Guilt' for Buddhists."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 6:49am

    Apple may not produce everything in the app store, but it does review and approve them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 7:02am

    Re:

    And how is Apple supposed to know the copyright status of everything on the App Store without some sort of central database for all things copyrighted?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    gorehound (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 7:05am

    Re:

    Exactly and Karma I wish to see happen.
    I for one will not be rushing off to Buy IPAD or iPhone or Apple Computer.
    I will Design and Build my Own Rig and it will run faster, it will be stable, and it will have better quality parts than an Apple Machine and it will also Cost an Estimated 30 - 50 Percent less.

    Sue Apple and do to them what they do to others ! And US Government you Complain and Complain about Debt but you all ow these Companies and you allow Rich People to hide their Income Offshore and use lame Tax Loopholes.I think all those A-Hole Loopholes should be closed to all.

    Karma is a Bitch Apple.................LOL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Atkray (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re:

    I thought God knew everything?

     

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  16.  
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    Pinstar, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 7:17am

    There's a Trope for that...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 7:26am

    Re: Re:

    The same way as any publisher, get the creator to sign an indemnity and accept any legal costs for any Action against apple over the work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re:

    If you approve everything that appears in your marketplace then you are responsible even if you cannot take the time to verify the status of everything.

    This is the natural consequence of owning a walled garden: all of the weeds are your responsibility.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 7:38am

    i would think that most people have little if any sympathy for Apple at all. it is the worst company for suing others for violating what it classes as it's copyright but is the first to try to get away with using copyright, for free, that it knows belongs to others. the US is really the only place where Apple wins any cases. what does that tell you?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 7:47am

    Hey all you copyright maximalist, crony capitalist, lawyer lovin' corporates out there: hope you all enjoy the monster you created. After all, this is your fault -- you're the ones who pushed for all those draconian laws and regulations, out of your insatiable desire for greed and control. So don't be surprised when you see other national entities using the monster you unleashed to their own advantage, to dig into your pockets and give foreign governments leverage until, eventually, they have control over you and all your assets.

    This is only the beginning. Enjoy the ride. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Nathan F (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re:

    Silly person, everyone knows that determining the copyright status of something is "easy" to do.

    *nodnod*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 8:33am

    How do you like them apples now, Apple ?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    avideogameplayer, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 9:07am

    Lookie, there is a worm in my Apple...

    But seriously, Apple should STFU about patents, trademarks, etc. and just worry about making products...

    Cause I'm betting Australia is next in line to give Apple a bitchslap...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    Ninja (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 9:08am

    Well, the more the US pushes the world to enforce copyrights because it has interests the bigger will be the backlash. Because obviously only the US have interests, right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    Wally (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 11:08am

    ???

    Let me get this straight, the Chinese Government sided with an asinine claim that because a company claimed Apple "offered" a book in iTunes called "China Encyclopedia" which if you use the iBooks search function, will not come up and never had there before, it's ok even though it sows China acting exactly like the US Government?

    Since it's Apple, does it still make it right? I would be interested to see the same thing happen to Google and watch people comment on how ludicrous that is....but ok people, let your biases get in the way of the big picture.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    Wally (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 11:11am

    Re:

    Precisely, but Iraq is the only exception where it was justifiable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    Re: ???

    I think most of the sentiment here has not been so much along the lines of "this is a good thing that happened to Apple". It's more of a "live by the sword, die by the sword" kind of thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    Re:

    Technically speaking, that is not an example of the eastern notion of karma. It's an an example of the western notion of karma, which is a very, very different thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re:

    Instant caramel's gonna getcha.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Re: ???

    That and the PRC giving in to name squatting on books that don't exist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 6:59pm

    Wait a minute? Is Apple now saying that it shouldn't be held responsible for products that its app developers are placing in the Apple store?

    Even if you get over the fact that Apple approves each and every app before it gets posted in the app store in iTunes, they're trying the same defense that Pirate Bay, Demonoid, Megaupload and every file-sharing service in the world uses but think they should deserve special consideration?

    hang a minute ...

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Had to get that out of my system. Apple, who maintains a tight stranglehold over what's sold in its store is saying that it's not responsible for the apps placed in their app store by app devs even though it's Apple who approves each and every app?

    lols

    Gotta love the idiots in charge at Apple.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 8:56pm

    Re:

    Why should Apple be responsible for something that never actually existed???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    mirradric, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 12:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Apple can't have it both ways

    No. They revolted against and broke 1984. They are animal farm.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 3:20am

    Re: There's a Trope for that...

    it's sucking me in again!


    DAMN YOU PINSTAR, I SHALL HAVE MY REVENGE!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    gnudist, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 4:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Apple can't have it both ways

    Rounded corners good*, control over your own phone bad.


    *But not if you're samsung

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    edinjapan (profile), Nov 16th, 2012 @ 1:08am

    Re: ???

    人民共和国的中国政府说 "你将得到你的屁股的圆眼外 2269;魔鬼踢"

    (translation) PRC Government says to Apple "Roundeye, your IP belong to us!"

    And the really funny thing in all this is Apple will complain to the US Gov't about this and the response will be for the DOJ to turn around and slap Kim Dotcom around again.

    In Japan we know that the US is a paper tiger. How do we know this? Look at the Senkaku Islands issue. China would never have come into Japan's backyard if they didn't know that the US can't protect our mutual interests in the region.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    xxx, Apr 16th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    message

    seek contact with you

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    edinjapan (profile), Apr 16th, 2013 @ 7:30pm

    Re: message

    what's up?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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