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Apple staff call Taiwanese filmmaker an 'idiot'

450-mile Hong Kong trip to explain piracy claim doesn't quite go to plan

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A Taiwanese writer and director who flew to Hong Kong to confront Apple in person over a long-running copyright infringement saga says he was branded an "idiot" by staff and escorted off the premises by police.

Giddens Ko, who wrote and directed the hit Chinese language movie You Are the Apple of My Eye, revealed his encounter at Apple’s Causeway Bay headquarters earlier this week in a series of Facebook updates.

Ko, who has written scores of books under the pseudonym Jiubadao (九把刀), or ‘nine knives’, claimed he has been trying for two years to get Apple to remove copyright-infringing apps featuring his content from the iTunes Store.

However, Apple apparently said it could not remove the apps because it was unable to confirm the novels’ true owner – in other words that Ko’s ‘authorised publisher’ had his genuine authorisation.

His solution was to travel physically to Apple’s Hong Kong offices and tell the legal department in person that he had not authorised any of the pirated versions of his works.

On doing so, a member of staff at the office apparently told him that filing another written complaint was his only option, so Ko set about writing the letter in the office, filmed by his manager Molly Fang Hsiao-ju.

To add insult to injury, he said the video recording captured a member of the on-looking Apple team calling him an "idiot".

Staff at the fruity tech titan didn’t take kindly to the filming and called the police, but Hong Kong's finest found nothing illegal and simply escorted Ko off the premises with the recording intact, according to the film-maker.

Seven or eight of the offending apps have now been removed by Apple although the case rumbles on, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency.

Ko said he is still trying to convince Apple to publish an app of his own making which he developed with a publishing company to give users free access to 50 of his novels.

The incident calls to mind a 50 million yuan (£5m) law suit filed earlier this year by a group of famous Chinese authors who alleged that Apple had allowed the sale of unlicensed copies of their books on the App Store.

Apple could not immediately be reached for comment on the Ko incident but back in March had the following on the Chinese lawsuit:

As an IP holder ourselves, we understand the importance of protecting intellectual property, and when we receive complaints we respond promptly and appropriately.

(h/t to blogger Dan Bloom for this one) ®

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