Encyclopedia of China Publishing House (ECPH) won a copyright infringement lawsuit against Apple Inc, which was sentenced to pay 500,000 yuan ($80,000) for ECPH's losses, the Economic Information Daily reported Tuesday.
Beijing judges ruled in favor of ECPH, deciding that Apple Inc's online application store (App Store) had disseminated ECPH's products without permission, and that Apple is liable as the App Store's operator.
Both companies could not be reached for comment by press time.
ECPH, established in 1978, mainly produces reference books and encyclopedic compilations such as the 74-volume Encyclopedia of China.
In October 2010, the Chinese publisher found that people were downloading parts of the Encyclopedia of China from the App Store for $20.99, which they claimed caused them economic losses. In May 2011, the Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court heard the case filed by ECPH against Apple Inc and its App Store for violating ECPH's reserved right to disseminate the material online.
In addition to this case, Apple Inc is also faced with other copyright infringement lawsuits filed by Chinese companies and writers.
On October 11, 2012, the Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court tried a case between Apple Inc and eight of China's most-read writers, who asked for a total of 10 million yuan ($1.6 million) in compensation for copyright infringement on 34 works.
Experts said at that time that China needs to revise its regulations on the protection of intellectual property, given that the domestic indemnity standard, adopted in the 1990s, is lower than the current market prices, and the current law was structured in a way that makes it difficult for the infringed party to present the required evidence.
On October 30, 2012, the National Copyright Administration (NCA) completed its third draft of a revised Copyright Law which would set the domestic minimum compensation for copyright infringement at 1 million yuan - twice the current minimum - according to an NCA's announcement.
This revised draft is still under review.