Apple's (News - Alert) iPad has long been celebrated as the top tablet in the world. While there have been plenty of competitors looking to step up and take on the king of the hill, there have been few who have been able to come close to the sales numbers. One of the most popular aspects of the iPad is their reader app iBooks, which offers much more to their users than an actual library of books. While users can certainly download any book that is in the Apple library, the app also offers graphic novels and magazines.
While most people are simply in awe of what Apple has managed to do with their iBooks app, there are at least a few publishers who are taking a decidedly different bent. A group of some of China's most prominent writers are actually claiming that Apple is a book pirate and in turn are demanding millions of dollars from the tech giant. At issue is the group's claim that Apple is selling unlicensed versions of their books in the Apple store.
Three lawsuits have been filed with the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate Court alleging that 12 different writers have had as many as 59 separate titles sold without license through the Apple iTunes store. The group is suing for a total of $3.5 million. Apple's Beijing spokesman Carolyn Wu says that Apple always respects intellectual property and that her company reacts quickly to complaints of this nature.
“As an IP holder ourselves, we understand the importance of protecting intellectual property and when we receive complaints we respond promptly and appropriately,” she said. Wu would not get into the specifics of the case or say whether the group might have a legitimate complaint.
The group's lawyer says that Apple sold the books through the iTunes store and that while the company deleted several of the titles after the lawsuit was filed, most if not all have reappeared through various apps that are offered by developers. Copyright infringement and piracy has been a bone of contention for years between the US and China, but the shoe is usually on the other foot in these kinds of cases.
Edited by Jennifer Russell