Japanese Publishers Rebuke Apple Over Copyright Violations

Craig Morgan Teicher -- December 14th, 2010

A screenshot of an illegal copy of a Haruki Murakami novel being sold in the App Store

A consortium of Japanese book, e-book, comic and magazine publishers issued a press release Tuesday rebuking Apple over pirated books that were illegally scanned and sold as apps in the App Store, according to the Wall Street Journal. Works by well-known Japanese authors Haruki Murakami and Keigo Higashino were being sold in the App Store illegally, though they have since been taken down by Apple.  The consortium of publishers said in a statement that “The associations we represent believe that Apple bears grave responsibility for this problem.”

Here’s more from the WSJ:

The consortium goes on to say Apple’s claim that it is not able to check for copyrighted material during the App screening process is “a wholly unconvincing explanation.”

An Apple Japan spokesman declined immediate comment. Apple has said in the past that it removes pirated material once notified by the copyright holder.

The consortium has asked to meet with Apple’s Japan unit to discuss the problem. While there hasn’t been a notable case like this in the US concerning Apple, this news shows how easy it can be for book pirates to illegally publish works in a vast and difficult to monitor digital marketplace.

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