Chinese authors petition Apple to stop electronic distribution of their books

“A group of Chinese authors will petition Apple Inc to stop the distribution of their books in electronic format through various applications in Apple’s App Store, the 21st Century Herald Tribune reported on Thursday,” Melanie Lee reports for Reuters.

“The same group of authors from the Writers Rights Alliance successfully petitioned Baidu Inc, China’s largest search engine, to stop publishing the authors’ material on its Baidu Library product,” Lee reports.

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“Bei Zhicheng, the spokesman for the group, was quoted by the newspaper as saying Apple’s App store is more detrimental than Baidu’s service because Baidu provided the downloads for free while Apple receives commissions on some downloads,” Lee reports

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Apple’s App store is more detrimental than Baidu’s service because Baidu provided the downloads for free while Apple receives commissions on some downloads

    Yes, clearly Baidu receives no revenues from the ads it shows, or the data it collects from the people who obtained the works there.

    The scary thing is, the majority of people probably think about Google the exact same way – not understanding that all this “free” stuff they’re getting comes at a hidden cost.

    You’d think that the App Store would be *less* problematic for them – at least there, if people are paying to download them, they’re perceived as having value. You’d think they’d be far more concerned about people becoming accustomed to downloading them for free.

    1. That makes no sense that they’d be pissed at Apple for selling their books, as opposed to being pissed because they aren’t getting royalties or some similar financial shortchange.

  2. Very strange; Apple does not initiate any distribution of media by itself — it is only channel.

    It is like petitioning some abstract KACTV local TV station to stop distributing certain video which is actually distributed by, say, ABC, which gets broadcasted physically on some territory via priorly named TV station.

  3. Can anyone decipher the Chinese writer’s position, or provide more background?

    The linked article provides next to nothing by way of information to the point of being inarticulate.

    If AAPL is selling their books, it will have the rights to do so thru the press or other entity that is offering it for sale. The writers should go to those entities if they want to remove the electronic distribution of their books. If they sold distribution rights to a publisher or other entity, the writers have no rights for enforcing a take-down notice.

    How AAPL taking a 30% cut is more harmful than Baidu distributing it for free is confusing — gibberish, even.

    1. Without reading the article, I am going to hazard a guess that what is happening here, is that some developer is selling an author’s work, novel, as an app download for $1, without permission.

  4. 1) I can’t blame any creator for protecting their right to profit from their work.

    2) This is hilarious coming out of the clone and fraud clone capital of the planet: The country that illegal sold fraudulent and fake Harry Potter sequels. The country that sells more cloned copies of software than legal versions.

    3) Apple is not a publisher. Apple only distribute books. Why aren’t the authors targeting the actual publishers, the ones who make 70% of each sale? I sniff DUH Factor in the air.

    1. Ironic isn’t it! Amazing there isn’t a character (of the 10,000+) in Chinese for “copyright”…let alone a concept of it. Asia must wake up before West should even consider taking any of them seriously.

    2. Let’s not assume ALL CHINESE violate copyright, when it’s just a few FACTORY BOSSES who are doing that (while exploiting poor workers). It’s so easy to keep saying “those Chinese” this and that, just like it’s easy to blame ALL AMERICANS for overseas “events”

      1. while I understand the sentiment James, the fact is, the government does little to stop it, to investigate it or to prosecute. EVEN when confronted by large trade groups, US government trade officials or senior US diplomats with evidence of the crimes.

  5. Very simple. If you are in China and print pirated books the first thing you need is the actual book, e-books make it very convenient. Any of the 600000 printing shops can download the latest book, print it the same day and start selling through their distribution channel. Not good for Chinese authors.

    If you are wondering why China doesn’t have contemporary music culture, the same reason. Even they have built magnificent performance halls to help the GDP figures look big, there is hardly any use for them because, nobody is willing to pay for music.

    It’s really amazing if you visit China, you see lot of history,but nothing that shows what new the Chinese have created, they are still just copying their past. After 1949 there is hardly anything compared to US, 1950’s rock, Beatles, 1970’s stadium rock, disco, RAP etc. In books and theater (writing) it’s the same thing. The ruling party discontinued Chinese own culture progress and replaced it with ideology that destroyed the country in 1960’s. There should be hundreds of Chinese artists and bands like Cui Jian, Wong Faye and Cold Fairyland.

    The people in the Western countries should bow deep and thank the great leader Mao for destroying his own country, so the West could live like kings with cheap energy and resources.

    I think Apple should make the smart move and let the Chinese authors control their own destiny by omitting their books from iBooks.

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