back to article Apple named in criminal lawsuit over Premier League–streaming app

Apple has been summoned to court in Thailand for approving an app which streams UK Premier League football games to an iPhone, in breach of the exclusive contract signed by local telly firm Cable Thai Holding. CTH paid $300m for the exclusive rights to show chaps kicking a ball around a pitch on a Saturday afternoon, according …

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Apple can't be responsible for every app in its store

Ummmm

They are, in affect EVERY app on/in the App Store is an apple product.

They cant have it both ways, take a massive cut yet wash their hands of the legal issues of any Application they have approved.

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Re: Apple can't be responsible for every app in its store

Don't know why the downvote. I have no axe to grind wrt Apple or regionalisation, but I agree with the above : how can Apple have no responsibility for apps that they approve and make profit from?

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Stop

Re: Apple can't be responsible for every app in its store

Kind of depends what they are responsible for. Are they responsible for the Kindle app for example if Amazon publishes a book they don't have rights for? This app could have also been used to view legitimate content.

What they have responsibility for is that the app meets their guidelines, that it doesn't do anything to compromise the device and that it isn't designed to do something overtly illegal in the country of sale. If the author then uses it to provide media that is unlicensed in the country of sale without Apple having any approval rights on that media then I'd say Apple aren't liable. If they are informed by the rights holder and continue to sell it then that would be another matter.

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Re: Apple can't be responsible for every app in its store

They may not be liable for the content of every app on the app store, it would be unworkable for them to monitor everything. However, when they receive a letter of complaint, informing them that an app is illegally hosting content, and then choose to completely ignore that letter, it could be argued that, from that point on, Apple are condoning the illegal content and are knowingly profiting from that content.

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Re: Apple can't be responsible for every app in its store

Not necesarrily. It depends what Apple is here. Is the App-Store a shop or is Apple an agent?

If i go into a shop then the sales contract is between me and the shop. Product defective? I go to the shop, not the producer.

If i go to a insurance agent he gets a comission, but the contract is between me and the insurance company. Got a problem? I go to the insurance company.

With Google its clear, Google is an agent, the dev has a direct customer relationship.

Apple on the other hand wants the benefits of both models. Keeping all customer data for itself like a shop but if there is a problem send the responsibility to the dev. Cant blame Apple for trying, but i doubt this is going to stand up in court.

So its either, Apple is a shop, then they get sued (and can in response sue the dev), or Apple is an agent, then the problem is with the dev.

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Re: Apple can't be responsible for every app in its store

Good point Steve,

But the application in question is designed to provide access to a product that is licensed per country, While I know very little about licensing laws, the product in question is of a high enough viability that the average person could be expected to check it out.

I have run foul of this in the past, with certain calenders being able to be sent to any country in the world baring Germany who had an incumbent who had paid of the rights to distribute a single brand of calendar. In my case I was ok, due to this being an exception. In Apples case, they have a full acceptance process and they should have picked up on it if it was followed. After all, part of the 30% "cost" to the application producer is the value Apple charges their services in processing the application.

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Re: Apple can't be responsible for every app in its store

Rights licensing internationally is a complete mess. Even here in Europe, where we theoretically have an open market that allows private citizens to buy in whichever country they want, there are all sorts of odd legal hurdles to doing so.

All Apple can do is ask a publisher to provide some kind of documentation that they're entitled to provide the material in the country in question (and don't forget that this is often split by the original rights holders into regional and media type packages so even this may not be obvious). The publisher can lie. Does this make Apple liable?

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Re: Apple can't be responsible for every app in its store

From where I stand Apple checks and "stocks" the app, charges for it and re-distribute some of the revenue to the dev. So they are as responsible as a shopkeeper who would load the shelves with illegal content.

"it's not convenient for them" is a strawman argument; they chose how they do business, if they can't abide to the law it's noone else's fault. Now I am all for giving them a bit of leeway, because, let's admit it, making sure that everything in the shop is legal is a huge burden (again, Apple chose that to begin with, but hey, let's be tolerant).

But it's nothing more than a favour done to them, if they willingly ignore complaints they should get ready to prepare the book-deflecting shield.

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Tirading Thai Telly Tycoons, surely - not enraged?

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Anonymous Coward

Intellectual property violation is a criminal offence in Thailand

Intellectual property violation is a criminal offence in Thailand - it certainly is! And like most laws in Thailand ...

One of the things people love about living here.

(a Bangkok resident)

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Re: Intellectual property violation is a criminal offence in Thailand

One of the things people love about living here.

(a Bangkok resident)

Oh and the ladyboys

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LOL

CTH paid $300m for the exclusive rights to show chaps kicking a ball around a pitch on a Saturday afternoon and now blame their mental deficiency on Apple. There are dozens of ways to watch Premiership live, this iPhone app apparently being one.

BTW, Football is a Frauensport ...

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Anonymous Coward

Fine by me

I see no social advantage to protecting the playing of a game with the force of the law. Quite the opposite, in fact; there are far more important things for the courts to be dealing with - especially in Thailand - than protecting half-wits who can't find a proper job.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fine by me

please, don't be compare multi-millionaire footballers with genuine half-wits.

It's cruel to the half-wits to suggest they are as dim as the average footballer appears in interviews.

It's also cruel to the footballers not to acknowledge that they're being quite clever in getting paid millions for kicking a ball around a bit, with no performance-related pay, time off for "injury" if someone merely looks at them a bit funny during a match, and so on. You have to admire the brass necks involved.

Even MPs dont go that far. Well, not often (although a similar half-wit comparison would be equally cruel to the half-wits).

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Kingpins are always responsible

Obviously with Apple the monopoly proprietary hardware they cannot claim 'free market' or anything such like that applies elsewhere.

SO its more far than always 30% guilty.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Kingpins are always responsible

So Google take no cut from their store?

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Re: Kingpins are always responsible

what monopoly? it IS a free market.

You can still buy any phone from any supplier and get apps on said devices.

Are you suggesting Apple have a monopoly over selling Apple products???? Kinda like Microsoft/Nokia/Dyson/Ford etc etc have a monopoly in selling their own products too??

knock knock, anyone home? "Monopoly", "Duopoly" etc refers to an entire INDUSTRY, not one company selling its own products.

unreal

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Kingpins are always responsible

" it IS a free market."

Good - I'm glad to hear that. (Remind me, where can I buy apps for an iPhone if I don't want to use an Apple-controlled marketplace or delivery mechanism?)

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Anonymous Coward

Guess the post office should be responsible for every parcel they handle and every ISP for every big of dodgy / copyright infringing material they transmit?

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Anonymous Coward

Twat

They do not know the contents of a sealed parcel.

premier football watching app is sort of a giveaway

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"every ISP for every big of dodgy / copyright infringing material they transmit"

under a strict interpretation of some of the half-dozen Home Office proposals on this over the last few years, that is EXACTLY what they would like to introduce, at the behest of the lazy organisations (like the FA or most of the music industry) who simply can't be bothered to identify actual infringers and proceed with evidence of infringing acts by named parties, but just want blanket bans.

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It would be interesting if Apple was landed with four years in prison!

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There is precedent for it - Executives for Google Italy have been found criminally liable before.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/02/google-executives-face-jail-time-for-italian-video/?_r=0

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Wrong sue

They should be suing the UK Premier League for selling them something which doesn't exist: exclusivity. Well, doesn't exist in practice, only in the made-up legal things they invented and paid for resp. Can I sell you a legal right to fly like an angel? Sure. Sign here. Can't actually fly? Sue, um, Isaac Newton? Not me, oh no.

Last time this happened it was Sky here and the footy vs a pub who legally bought a European feed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wrong sue

Uh, it *does* exist, in that the Premiere League holds the rights to broadcast their games. The fact that it's possible for people to show the games when they're not authorized has no bearing on the validity of that right; by your reasoning, it seems, the fact that it's possible for someone to steal your car means that it's not possible to own one!

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Anonymous Coward

That is probably not the real reason for the lawsuit.

Betting is illegal in Thailand, but there are massive amount of money involved in it, and so reliable sources are well paid for. This app is probably affecting a massive revenue stream that involves betting, and thus the knives come out. "Copyright" is simply a convenient vehicle for the lawsuit.

IMHO, of course.

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The company wants around 100 million Thai baht ($3m) in damages, but mostly it wants the app removed from iTunes.

$3 million? Is that a typo?

if not, they're doing it wrong. You're supposed to start with an astronomically obscene amount of money in the lawsuit, and maybe a percentage of every app ever sold ever. Then, after the judge whittles it down after appeal, after appeal, you take what you can get away with.

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And the problem once again is greed

Monopolies should be outright banned. Period.

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Anonymous Coward

And we care because?

The only place you CAN'T legally watch any Premiership match you choose on a Saturday? Britain. The matches are plainly being broadcast live or you wouldn't be able to stream them from other countries. You can only watch a maximum of 2 or 3 (or some days NONE???) matches on a a Saturday and then only if you subscribe to BOTH Sky AND BT Sport and you're stuck with whatever matches they got farmed out to them in the allocation for that week. So zero actual choice of matches. In England. Where the games are actually being played. The argument that it's to protect the clubs attendance doesn't hold any water for me because the crowds still seem to turn up to the matches that ARE being shown that day. So why do the Premier League, who sell the rights and dictate who can watch what, when, not allow al the games to be shown simultaneously (Sky has this ability), and maybe even allow the network channels to bid for a few individual matches as well and people could still see the odd match without subscribing to Sky or BT Sport, and they could bring more money in, which would filter down into the clubs, and benefit everyone in the chain!

Subsequently I couldn't care less about the problems of people in other countries not being able to watch the football. I can't watch it live in my own country without stealing it back from a foreign broadcast!

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