Apple removes Vietnamese book; remains mum on compensating author

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Although Apple removed the book of Vietnamese author Le Kieu Nhu from its App Store, she and her lawyer are still seeking compensation from the company which sold Soi xich (The Chain) without her permission.

Nguyen Thanh Cong from the East Law Firm in Ho Chi Minh City who represents Nhu, said Apple has yet to mention compensating his client.

Cong and Nhu sent a letter to Apple on July 8, demanding the firm pay the author to the tune of US$100,000 for copyright infringement and to cover her legal fees. The letter also asked for 30 percent of all revenues earned from the sale of Nhu's book in royalty fees. Apple began selling Soi xich for nearly $30 beginning in April 2010.

Cong said Apple's removal of Soi xich amounts to a concession that it had been selling the book without the author's consent. 

He said he and Nhu are preparing the second letter which provides deeper analysis of Apple's infringement. He said the letter may be sent as soon as Monday via email and express mail.

He said he will file a lawsuit against Apple in a court in California where the company is based if it does comply with Nhu's demands, adding the damages likely to be awarded would be higher if the case was handled in the US, as legal fees there are much more expensive.

Soi xich was published in 2010 by Hoi Nha Van (The Writers' Association). The association withdrew its 2,000 copies soon after the book was widely panned for its sexual content and poor writing. Further publication has been suspended ever since. 

It depicts an orphan girl who gets married to a rich but impotent, abusive man. He chains her up in their home to keep her by his side. The woman eventually commits adultery with a younger man.

Nhu told VTC News Tuesday she is unsatisfied with the two responses she has received from Apple, which claimed account developer Boiled Shrimp should be held responsible, as it published and sold the book on Apple's online store.

Nhu told Vietweek that it is unreasonable for Apple to say it is not responsible for what takes place on its site. Cong went on to explain that according to applicable laws, Apple is responsible for paying Nhu in full; and must seek any compensation it may be owed from third party Boiled Shrimp on its own.

Nhu and Cong have contacted about 10 other authors whose works were also sold on Apple's store without their permission.

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Among them, Bui Anh Tan confirmed to VnExpress that Nhu sought his support with her lawsuit against Apple if it comes to that, adding that the company's responses to Nhu made it look negligent.

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