Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was recently docked with a hefty fine of $118,000 over a copyright breach in China. The tech giant will have to pay three writers for selling their books online without consulting the authors first.

apple sued

According to China Daily, Beijing No 2 Intermediate People’s Court took the side of the authors and are now forcing Apple to pay up the massive fine. Feng Gang, the presiding judge for this particular case, explained that it’s Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s obligation to check to see whether or not the uploaded books that were uploaded by third-party companies have the legal right to share the books.

He said, “The writers involved this time include Mai Jia, whose books are often on bestseller lists across the country. In this way, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has the capability to know the uploaded books on its online store violated the writers’ copyright.”

Feng added that other tech companies should pay attention to the recent decision made so they can formulate a new system that will prevent them from owing hefty fines to authors. Some industry observers claim that many small ebook sellers do this all the time without anyone taking note. The observers also claim that lawsuits specifically target the big ebook sellers like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). But then, an $118,000 loss isn’t really all that significant enough to prompt other companies to verify each title.

This lawsuit is the second litigation against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) from the Writer’s Right Protection Union.  Late last year, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)  was slapped with a lawsuit from China Written Works Copyright Society. Apparently, the tech company knew about the copies of pirated books since mid-2011 and were slow at removing the infringing apps. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was then forced to pay the eight authors $165,000 over the copyright dispute.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s successes often make them a huge target for lawsuits.