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China writers want $8m from Apple

19 March 2012, 07:46

China - A group of Chinese writers who accuse Apple's online store for selling pirated copies of their books is seeking $8m in compensation from the US firm, state media said on Sunday.

The group has filed the $8m claim against Apple on behalf of 22 writers including famed author Han Han, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The group alleges the US giant's App Store has been selling unlicensed copies of some 95 books.

Han Han was also one of over 40 authors involved in a copyright row with Baidu last year that eventually forced the Chinese search engine to delete nearly three million potentially infringing works from its online library.

According to Xinhua, the writers in the latest row claim that Apple was too slow in removing the allegedly pirated content when it was notified about the problem.

The group is now waiting for the US firm's response, the report said, but it is unclear where it filed the claim.

"As an IP holder ourselves, we understand the importance of protecting intellectual property and when we receive complaints, we respond promptly and appropriately," Apple spokesperson Carolyn Wu told AFP, without elaborating further.

The App Store offers more than 550 000 micro-applications to users in 123 countries around the world, including games, business, news, sports, health and fitness, and travel uses.

Apple announced earlier this month that downloads from its App store had hit 25 billion, with a person in eastern China grabbing a $10 000 prize for taking the tally to the landmark level.

This is the latest copyright dispute to hit Apple in China, after Proview Technology (Shenzhen) - a Chinese computer firm - filed lawsuits against the US giant claiming it owns the Chinese rights for the "iPad" trademark.

Lawyers for the Chinese company say they are seeking to prevent Apple from shipping the iconic tablet computers into and out of China, and are threatening to sue the US firm in the United States for $2bn.


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