Back in September, a Chinese court sided with China Publishing House in an infringement lawsuit against Apple, and ordered the iPad-maker to pay about $83,000 in damages. The publisher claimed Apple allowed an application into its App Store that contained large chunks if its Encyclopedia of China works without the proper licensing.

Naturally, Apple is now appealing the decision. And what the court decides from here could have some major consequences for the Cupertino company…

CNET points to the report by Jinghua Times:

“Apple asserts that the original judgment was incorrect, and in addition, that the financial compensation awarded is too high. Apple argued that as the store owner and not a third-party developer, it is not responsible for every individual application hosted in the App store. However, the court ruled in the favor of China Publishing House, which claimed that Apple has caused the publisher financial damages and loss — whereas in contrast, the tech giant was profiting from copyright infringement after allowing the app to be hosted in the App Store.”

Obviously, $83,000 is a drop in the bucket for Apple, who has more than $100 billion in the bank. But if the court denies Apple’s request for appeal here, it could open the flood gates for other content owners to sue the company over in-app plagiarized material. And given that there’s some 700 thousand apps in the App Store, that could add up rather quickly.

It’ll be interesting to see how this unfolds, because as far as I can see, there isn’t really a way Apple could avoid approving an app that has pirated content. The App Store team would have to read every word, of every app, and would then have to find a way to cross-check that content with all other existing works. And people say the app approval process is bad now.

What do you think, should Apple be held responsible here?

  • Howard Ellacott

    Why don’t they just sue the developer?

    • The company probably knows that they would be able to get a large amount of money from Apple and not the developer.

      But suing the developer makes more sense in my opinion. The App Approving process for the App Store is already quite lengthy. By having to check every app that wants approval for copyright infringement, you are just increasing the length of wait time for the App to get approved.

      So I dunno…

  • I’ll get a patent on something get a friend to make a app with that patent in it and sue Apple for … I’ll be quids in

  • Yujin

    The Chinese are a joke, they complain about copyrights when their entire culture encourages them to “borrow” copyrighted material..

    What about apps like PPtv? Anyone seen it? Is an app that let’s you stream movies, all kinds of movies and available on the App can find current movies that are still in theaters of big hits like avatar. How much you ask? Free… In Chinese though so don’t know how this got passed apple’s approval process