Apple has been ordered by a Chinese court to compensate three Chinese writers for infringing their copyrights. Apple made the authors’ books available in iBooks without first seeking their permission. The Cupertino-based company will have to pay up 730,000 Yuan ($118,000) to the three writers for copyright infringement.
While the situation doesn’t quite seem to add up, it’s said that the books were uploaded by third-parties rather than by Apple themselves, and it’s unclear exactly who uploaded them in the first place, but in any case, the court ruled that Apple had a duty to make sure that the uploads didn’t breach copyright, whether or not they were the ones who uploaded the content.
Of course, this is nothing but pocket change to Apple, so it doesn’t affect them financially by any means, but it further develops bad PR for the company in China, where they’ve already been in hot water recently — most notably for the iPhone warranty debacle, but Apple ended up apologizing and is working to improve customer satisfaction in that area.
One of the writers involved in the lawsuit was Mai Jia, whose books are often on multiple best-seller lists across China. The judge took the time during the court case to also warn other tech companies running an online store that they should learn from this lawsuit and be make sure that their uploading processes won’t create similar disputes.