In a filing with the United States district court for southern New York, Apple claims the Department of Justice has its story all wrong. The Justice Department filed an antitrust suit against Apple and multiple book publishers earlier this week alleging that the group colluded to fix the prices of electronic books. In a recently released document filed with the court on Wednesday, Apple’s counsel addressed the charges by claiming the DOJ has its story backwards — Apple wasn’t working with publishers to fix eBook prices, it was breaking Amazon’s “monopolistic grip” on the eBook market and the publishing industry. Read on for more. More →
Three separate lawsuits have been filed in China on behalf of 12 writers who claim Apple is selling unlicensed versions of their works in its iBookstore. Apple is accused of selling 59 unlicensed works in total, and the three suits seek a combined $3.5 million in damages. Apple has not denied the allegations, though the company did say that it responds to intellectual property complaints quickly. “As an IP holder ourselves, we understand the importance of protecting intellectual property and when we receive complaints we respond promptly and appropriately,” Beijing-based Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu told the Associated Press. Wang Guohua, a lawyer representing the group of writers, said Apple violated copyright laws by making the books available for purchase without securing the necessary licenses. Wang also said that while some titles were removed after lawsuits were filed in January, many have been uploaded to Apple’s digital store again and Apple has not taken the appropriate measures to prevent the pirated books from being sold. “Some developers, with whom Apple has contracts, put them back online again,” he said. “It is encouragement in disguise, because they did not punish the developers. The developers could have been kicked out. But nothing happened to them.” More →
Apple has initiated a new seven day return policy in Taiwan in accordance with the country’s consumer protection laws, MacRumors reported on Friday. Taiwanese iTunes App Store customers can now receive a full refund on purchased applications within a seven day window after the purchase date. Specifically, Apple’s iTunes App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store terms now state:
You may cancel your purchase within seven (7) days from the date of delivery and iTunes will reimburse you for the amount paid, provided you inform iTunes that you have deleted all copies of the product. Upon cancellation you will no longer be licensed to use the product. This right cannot be waived.
Apple doesn’t currently offer that option to customers in the United States. Instead, consumers must approach Apple and request a refund on a specific app. That request will then be reviewed and Apple grants refunds as it sees fit. Google’s competing Android Market allows users to receive a full refund within a 15-minute window after downloading a new application. We’d certainly love to see Apple provide this sort of refund process in the United States, but we’re not holding our breath. More →
Struggling writers and emotional hipsters, take note! Apple is now accepting applications for independently published works to fill the virtual shelves of its iBookstore. First and foremost, to get the ball rolling you’ll need to sign in with iTunes Connect and register a valid US Tax ID. Then, after converting your work into an ePub file and verifying it with ePubCheck 1.0.5, you’ll need to apply for an ISBN. After that, send the file Apple’s way and not long after you’ll (hopefully) start to reap the financial rewards of the burgeoning medium. Way too much work? Simply get in contact with one of Apple’s seven approved iBookstore aggregators and they’ll do most of the gruntwork for you. We look forward to seeing your angst-ridden works gather virtual dust on our iBookshelf.
Apple shook up the e-book market with the recent introduction of iBookstore, its new e-book marketplace that is slated to debut on the iPad. Additionally, Apple partnered with five of the largest book publishers in a deal that would allow the publisher to set the prices of e-books to $12.99 to $14.99, and offered a profit-sharing arrangement in which Apple would take a 30% cut. Publishers boasted of their success and bullied Amazon into raising its Kindle e-book prices to the same price point set by Apple. All was well and good until a circulating rumor surfaced today that suggests Apple may have a trick or two up its sleeve. Apple has reportedly negotiated lower pricing on many of its e-books and that $12.99 – $14.99 price point being touted by publishers may actually be the top tier. Apple supposedly pushed publishers to offer discounts on best sellers, forcing prices down to a level that could rival Amazon’s $9.99 price point. Apple also reportedly negotiated a pricing scheme on non-bestsellers that is based upon the price of the hardcover edition of a book. An e-book with a hardcover edition worth less than $26 could have a price point well below $12.99. When the dust settles, we may have Amazon raising its e-book prices and Apple lowering its prices in a series of maneuvers that may have been brilliantly played by the boys from Cupertino. More →