Chinese Writers’ Apple Book Piracy Claims Grow Louder

Twenty-two Chinese authors now plan to sue Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) for 50 million yuan ($7.9 million), claiming 95 of their books were published without authorisation in iTunes Store apps, according to China’s state-owned Xinhua news agency.

The books include the iconic 24 Histories, a collection chronicling Chinese culture from 3,000 years BC, according to the country’s National Copyright Administration of China.

Apple’s local spokesperson (according to various reports): “As an IP holder ourselves, we understand the importance of protecting intellectual property and when we receive complaints we respond promptly and appropriately.”

Authors operating under the China Written Works Copyright Society previously forced Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and Baidu (NSDQ: BIDU) respectively to apologise for scanning books and to remove hundreds of them. The society began grumbling about Apple in January, when it was said that a group of nine authors of 37 books wanted to sue the company.

That effort has now grown to include more complainants. The society says it is “highly concerned” about the situation.

Apple is gaining more carriage for iPhone in China and has been fighting Proview for claims of the “iPad” trademark there.

Apple’s app approval process is regarded elsewhere as being stringent, sometimes excessively so. More likely than it wilfully abusing Chinese copyright, it is likely experiencing growing pains whilst expanding in to the Far East.