• Kyodo News

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An organization of Japanese publishers and Apple Inc. held talks Friday for the first time to address the piracy problem of unauthorized e-books of novels by popular Japanese writers being sold on the U.S. electronics giant’s App Store online service.

While the meeting took place in Tokyo behind closed doors, industry sources said the Japan Book Publishers Association explained to Apple specific cases of pirated electronic books infringing copyrights, and called on the company to respond to the issue.

“Delivering what apparently violates copyright is tantamount to assisting in illegal acts,” an official of the group was quoted as telling Apple.

Apple and the organization will continue discussions, the sources said.

The problem came to light in November as unauthorized electronic versions in Japanese and Chinese languages of best-seller novels by such popular writers as Haruki Murakami and Keigo Higashino were found available on the App Store.

Last month, four publishing industry groups, including JBPA, issued a remonstrance against Apple over the matter, urging it to agree to hold talks to map out measures to prevent such infringements.

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