Chinese Writers’ $1.9M Lawsuit Against Apple Enters Formal Proceedings

A group of nine Chinese writers have filed suit against Apple, alleging copyright infringement of 37 works, and they announced last Friday that their case has entered into formal proceedings, according to Chinese news site Caixin Online. The writers are suing Apple for 12 million Chinese yuan, which is approximately US$1.9 million.

Bei Zhicheng, who is acting as spokesman for the group, said: “The download number of one best-selling book is as much as one million, which creates about one billion dollars in losses for each writer.” Apple keeps 30 percent of those sales.

The first salvo in this legal battle was fired last August, when Chinese writer Zhu Jintai sued Apple because the company refused to disclose any information about the developer who published a pirated copy of his novel, which was removed after a copyright infringement complaint. That lawsuit is still pending.

Caixin noted that China’s Internet user base reached 485 million at the end of June 2011, and by 2010, the number of people reading e-books in the country was up to 121.19 million.