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Apple appeals Chinese ruling over encyclopedia infringement

Company is appealing a judgment that states it must pay $83,000 to China Publishing House.

Charlie Osborne Contributing Writer
Charlie Osborne is a cybersecurity journalist and photographer who writes for ZDNet and CNET from London. PGP Key: AF40821B.
Charlie Osborne

Apple has filed an appeal after a Chinese court ruled that the company is responsible for an app that contained pirated material.

The tech giant lost a case brought to court by China Publishing House, which claimed that Apple infringed copyright protection by allowing the sale of an app containing large sections of "Encyclopedia of China" without the publishing house's consent.

The iPhone and iPad-compatible app can be downloaded from Apple's App Store.

In September, a Chinese court ordered Apple to pay compensation of 520,000 yuan, which is roughly $83,000.

First reported by the 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.

If Apple loses the appeal, it may set a precedent for other copyright holders to fight against content made available in third-party applications -- and could prove more costly than $83,000 in the long run.