Chinese animation studio sues Apple over illegal iTunes movie sales

appleApple is facing a lawsuit worth $531,000 U.S. (3.3 million Chinese yuan) by a Chinese animation studio claiming that the company is selling its work without approval or permission.

The Shanghai Animation Film Studio, a state-owned and operated media studio, is suing Apple Inc. and its Chinese subsidiary Apple Electronics Products Commerce (Beijing) for providing “unauthorized download services” of its work, in addition to infringing on the studio’s intellectual property rights by selling its work without license. According to the lawsuit, Apple is illegally selling 110 different titles produced by the studio, including Black Cat Detective and Calabash Brothers.

A spokesman for the studio told the South China Morning Post that the studio “want[s] to keep tight-lipped on this case because, as we see it, it’s just a litigation in which we want to get compensation [for our product],” adding “It’s a sensitive period now since Apple is a big multinational company and it is surrounded by controversies on its practices in China.”

Amongst those controversies are a continuing lawsuit brought by another Shanghai-based company, Shanghai Zhizhen Network Technology. It claims that the iPhone’s Siri feature infringes on a patent the company owns for its “Xiao iRobot” (note the irony of Apple being accused of infringing on a patent relating to someone else’s product that uses the Apple lower-case “i” ahead of the product name).

At the same time, Apple was the subject of a report on the state-run CCTV in early March that alleged that the company was offering lower quality customer service in China than it does to customers around the world, an allegation immediately denied by the company. Unfortunately, that denial then itself became the subject of derision from Chinese media, with the company described as “empty and self-praising” and possessing “incomparable arrogance” in its response to the accusation.

China represents the second largest market for Apple product in the world (behind America), so it must rankle the company to continually be on the defensive there. In addition to these three ongoing woes, the company has previously faced legal action in China over its Snow Leopard trademark and iPad trademark. Clearly, the Chinese tech market can be somewhat fraught with litigation.

Apple is, unsurprisingly, refusing to comment on the Shanghai Animation Film Studio lawsuit or allegations that it has been selling video content illegally. The company rarely, if ever, comments on ongoing legal issues – but it’s hard to imagine that there’s more to this than meets the eye. Surely a third party must have managed to convince Apple that it did have permission to sell the movies and/or license for content from the studio. What else could possibly be an explanation for why the company would take a high-profile and large scale risk by offering content and hoping no one would notice?


Apple is still selling iPhones in China despite being ordered not to

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

Apple pushing update to iPhone in China in response to legal troubles

Apple has been facing legal issues in China due to alleged infringements of patents from Qualcomm Inc. On Friday, Apple announced it will push a software update in China in hopes of resolving any potential legal issues around the iPhone.
Smart Home

Voice assistant-enabled Deebot N79S robot vacuum now deeply discounted

The Ecovacs Deebot N79 is more powerful and quieter than its predecessor and adds Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility. Ready to make cleaning easier than ever, this voice-enabled bot will vacuum your home on spoken command.
Movies & TV

The best Amazon Original series, from 'Bosch' to 'Transparent'

Amazon Studios may not have as big a collection of in-house productions as Netflix, but there are still lots of shows worthy of your eyeballs. Here are our picks for the best Amazon original series.

The best MacBook deals for December 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.

The best iPad deals for December 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.

How to connect AirPods to your MacBook

If you have new AirPods, you may be looking forward to pairing them with your MacBook. Our guide will show you exactly how to connect AirPods to MacBook, what to do if they are already paired with a device, and more.

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.

Which Macs are compatible with MacOS Mojave?

Is your computer ready for Apple's big Mojave update? Here's what you need to know about MacOS Mojave compatibility, what Macs can successful download Mojave, and the requirements you need to know about.

MacBook Pro battery replacement: Everything you need to know

Looking for a new battery for your MacBook Pro? It's important you know what to look for, what model you have, and what options Apple gives you! We'll cover everything you need to know about Apple MacBook Pro battery replacement.

Is somebody watching you? How to stop apps from tracking your location

If you don't like the idea of your every movement being tracked by apps on the phone in your pocket, then you may want to turn location tracking off. We take a look at how to do it on an iPhone or Android phone in this easy guide.

Score a Christmas deal with Speck’s half-off sale on its entire range of cases

The holidays might be nearing, but bargains don't take time off. To celebrate the last day for U.S. ground shipping, Speck will be offering a sitewide 50-percent-off deal for one day only on Monday December 17.