SHANGHAI, July 7 (Reuters) - 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.
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.
Apple and a representative from the writers group could not be reached for comment.
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.
The protection of intellectual property rights in China is a source of trade friction between China and foreign multinational companies. Over the past two years, music companies have taken Baidu to court for copyright infringement over its Mp3 search service that allows users to easily search for and download music for free.
More recently however, Chinese copyright holders have spoken out against the lax enforcement of intellectual property laws in China.
Hollywood studios have cut deals with online video service providers such as Youku Inc to provide their movies through a pay-per-view format in a country where pirated DVDs are sold for $1. (Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Matt Driskill)