Monday, March 19, 2012

Chinese Writers Sue Google Over Copyright Claims

Turnabout is fair play, especially when the issue is copyright infringement and the players at odds are China and the United States. Thus it happens that 23 Chinese writers are suing Apple after alleging the company allowed their copyrighted works to published in the Apple store.

But it's not quite that simple.

In fact, the suit alleges that Apple acknowledged they had indeed allowed some copyrighted works to be published on their App store and removed them. However, because they did nothing to punish or deter the publishers who posted the copyrighted material, these same developers simply reloaded the copyright material.

Thus does it seem Apple is at least negligent when it comes to protecting creator rights.

Now, some might say that since Chinese law does not protect American copyright holders why should we worry about their copyrights? But that is flawed logic. The idea is not to bring the playing field down to the lowest common denominator, but rather raise it up to provide the best protection possible.

Apple's problem seems to be made worse by the fact their system relies on the developers to secure all rights to the content they load to the Apple store. This method is not effective for brick and mortar retailers who are regularly held responsible for the products they sell why would it work for an online retailer?

The fact is, the issue of copyright protection is a very serious problem. If creators cannot be assured they have rights to the ownership of their property it diminishes the strength of their convictions. In other words, if I am a carpenter and I build houses, I have the foreknowledge that once I finish building the house no one else is going to come along and sell it out from under me. Or, move into it without paying me for the work I did.

The same level of protection needs to apply to everyone who creates anything regardless of where they live.

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