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.