VIETNAM: 50 Shades of Chains and Apple Lawsuits

YVONNE EPPS WRITES – Trashy fiction is an increasingly popular guilty pleasure, making one writer’s trash a corporation’s treasure.

Racy Vietnamese novel Soi xich (The Chain) was sold on the Apple App Store without author and actress-singer Le Kieu Nhu’s permission, violating the copyright laws protecting the work. Although the crude story about disappointment and adultery did poorly when it was published in 2010, Nhu was surprised and angered after recently learning that Apple had been selling her work since September 2010. The Chain has since been removed from the App Store following her lawyer’s request for compensation. Apple’s two responses blaming the user who uploaded the novel were unsatisfactory to Nhu, leading her to prepare for a lawsuit. The actress-singer has a large task before her, tackling the juggernaut California based Apple Corporation, but it has a history of selling the work of foreign writers without their permission.

ThanNienNews claims that Apple was ordered by the Beijing court to compensate three Chinese authors who also had their works sold without permission. Despite the warning of the overseeing Judge Feng Gang that Apple must check the content uploaded by third parties, the former president of Yahoo China, Xie Wen, finds that the current practices of technology based companies continue to infringe on published works. While Nhu doesn’t stand alone in her endeavor, the practices of the corporate world seem to easily reap the benefits of an individual’s hard work with little to no real consequences.

Despite accusations of using this as a media stunt, Nhu’s stand against the big bully Apple seems to be an honest attempt to claim reparation. While Apple can divert blame to its individual users, it’s ultimately responsible for damages under its umbrella. What’s more interesting is Apple’s place in Asia. If Apple bites the hand that feeds it, then eventually that hand may pull away and never return.

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