Apple accused of Japanese iBooks piracy

Apple has been accused of selling pirated ebooks by Japanese authors in its iBookstore, with titles by high-profile authors such as Haruki Murakami and Keigo Higashino among the texts. According to a consortium of Japanese publishers, "some of the works have been deleted in response to requests from authors and publishers but a majority of them continue to be illegally distributed."

Although not detailed by reports coming out of Japan, it seems likely that the furor has been caused by self-published iBooks content. Apple opened up the iBookstore to self-publishing authors back in May 2010 via iTunes Connect, and – as Amazon has discovered with its Kindle ebook store – it makes a tempting target for unofficial copies of electronic texts.

In a statement, Apple said "We fully understand the importance of intellectual property including copyright" and promised to "promptly and appropriately respond to complaints about violation of copyright."