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Pirate Chinese versions of Japan e-books sold online:reports

by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Nov 10, 2010
Unauthorised Chinese versions of popular Japanese novels, including works by best-selling author Haruki Murakami, have been sold as e-books on Apple's online store, Japanese media have reported.

Digital versions of Murakami's "1Q84" and of crime novels by Keigo Higashino were being sold without the authors' permission for a few hundred yen (a few dollars) each, the Kyodo News agency and the Asahi daily reported.

Higashino, who has not allowed any of his works to be marketed in digital format, told Kyodo: "Of those (books) translated into Chinese, tens of my works appear to have been converted into digital books illegally."

"As a copyright holder, I have asked Apple to delete them and am waiting for its response."

The Taiwanese publisher of an authorised Chinese translation of "1Q84" has denied any involvement and said that one of the e-books sold on Apple's App Store was a pirated version of its translation, Kyodo said.

The App Store sells digital books that can be viewed on Apple's popular iPhone and iPad mobile devices, among other digital content.

Murakami's three-volume "1Q84", of which the first two volumes were released in Japan in May 2009, became instant bestsellers there and have since been translated into Korean and Chinese.

Murakami, 61, has often been mentioned as a Nobel literature prize contender, and his novels have drawn international acclaim.

His works have been translated into almost 40 languages, include the titles "Norwegian Wood," "Kafka on the Shore" and "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle".

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