Chinese Publisher Wins $1.87 Million Damages in Copyright Lawsuit Against Apple

Chinese digital publisher Chinese Online (Tianjin) Cultural Development Co., Ltd. won 12 million yuan ($1.87 million) in damages in a copyright lawsuit against U.S. tech group Apple Inc. Plaintiff Chinese Online accused Apple of violating its right to disseminate information via the internet.

At issue are several Chinese literary works, including In the Name of the People, Prosecution Nationwide, Kangxi Emperor, the Family, Spring, and Autumn, all of which were unlawfully available in the Chinese App Store.

In the court’s opinion, Apple, as the App Store’s actual operator, has control and management capabilities over what is made available on its platform.

Apple failed to fulfil its obligations to screen and take proper measures about the allegedly infringing App Store application where the unlicensed literary works at issue were unlawfully made available. The failure of reasonable care has constituted copyright infringement.

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Since 2012, Chinese Online has sued Apple Inc. four times over the right to disseminate information via the internet with 83 claims, 460 works, and 70 million yuan ($11 million) worth of compensation.