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Japan Publishers Say Apple Is Offering Pirated E-Books, Comics

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Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. is infringing on copyrights by offering illegally scanned books and comics on its App Store, four Japanese publishing groups said.

While Apple deleted some pirated titles, it continues to offer unauthorized books such as Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84,” Japan Book Publishers Association, Japan Magazine Association, the Electronic Book Publishers Association of Japan, and Digital Comic Association said in a joint statement today.

Apple should disclose data about pirated publications on its store and take preventive measures, according to the statement.

A spokesman at Apple’s Tokyo office who refused to be named said the company respects intellectual-property rights and that it will respond to complaints promptly and appropriately. Jill Tan, an Apple spokeswoman in Hong Kong, said she would need to investigate the matter further before making any comment.

The App Store, which sells applications for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, has more than 300,000 apps available for download, the Cupertino, California-based Apple said last month.

To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.net; Yoshinori Eki in Tokyo at yeki@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net.

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