It looks like Apple is not the first company to get fined this week, as Google was hit with a fine by the German authorities for being guilty of Wi-Fi data snooping when their Street View cars were going around in parts of the Old World under Germany’s borders, snapping photos and in some cases, picking up unwarranted information. Well, a Chinese court this week has issued an order for Apple to compensate a trio of Chinese writers to the tune of $118,000. The reason for this fine? Apple was ruled to have violated the copyright of these three Chinese writers’ works.
Judge Feng Gang of Beijing’s No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court ruled this week that Apple did not manage to obtain the necessary and proper permissions from all three writers prior to selling their books in Apple’s App Store. These books were first uploaded by a third party, followed by being sold sans a single penny going to the authors or their publishers. Feng ruled that the onus was on Apple to follow up on the books uploaded to its store so that no copyrights are violated in the process, and rightly so. I guess this is a drop in the ocean for a cash rich company like Apple, but more importantly, it has caused another dent in Apple’s reputation in China.