The author of an iPad app that aggregated Chinese-language news is in legal hot water.
Minesage Co. Ltd. was recently dragged into court by the Beijing News, who claimed that Minesage’s “Chinese News” app violated their copyrights by including the paper’s contents and layout without their permission. After cease-and-desist orders to the software company were allegedly ignored, the case wound up in Beijing’s Haidian District People’s Court.
Minesage argued that their app showed the Beijing News’ copyright notice, and actually provided links, rather than embedded content. They also argued their app actually steered new customers to the newspaper.
Unfortunately for the developer, the judge in the case found no description of link services or news sources in the app’s documentation. Worse, Minesage was forced to admit the app let users download e-newspapers without visiting the newspaper’s own site, which the court declared illegal.
Minesage was eventually found guilty of copyright infringement, to the tune of a 100,000-yuan (US$15,600) fine.
[Via China Daily]