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Apple is being sued in China over a film made in 1994

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David Cornish
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Apple doesn't really get on with China. Their relationship is one readily described as "not playing nicely". 

From major iOS hacks originating in the Eastern nation, to poor economic performances causing Western investors to forecast doom over Apple's growth figures, the tech giant's most recent Chinese misfortune came at the loss of trademark lawsuit that allows a leather accessory manufacturer to use the word iPhone. 

And now, Apple is being sued in China again - over a propaganda film made in 1994. Which is weird.

The legal bickering, reported by the Associated Press, centres around a claim made by the Movie Satellite Channel Program Production Center - a subsidiary of China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television - over the film Xuebo dixiao (Bloody Fight with the Fierce Enemy), which depicts Chinese soldiers battling the Japanese in the 1930s. 

The film group claims they have exclusive rights to show the film, which Apple probably couldn't give a microchip-sized-toss about. Problem is, the Youku HD app has been giving Chinese citizens access to the film without permission, and because the app is available via iTunes, that's enough to land Apple in court.

The Movie Satellite Channel Program Production Center is demanding that the film be removed from the app and that both Youku HD and Apple pay in the region of... well, just 50,000 yuan ($7,500/£5,600).

You'd expect Apple to swallow the fine just to make the problem go away - but it's another indicator that the powers-that-be won't give the tech company an easy ride in China. Here's hoping their next smartphone is enough to convince the nation otherwise.

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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