A consortium of digital publishers in Japan has issued a stern rebuke to Apple over the appearance of illegal copies of its authors’ works that have appeared for sale in the Apple App Store, reports “TNW Asia” (http://thenextweb.com/asia/2010/12/14/japanese-publishers-rebuke-apple-over-pirated-works-on-itunes/).

In a joint press release, the consortium, including, the Japan Book Publishers Association, the Japan Magazine Publishers Association, The Electronic Book Publishers Association of Japan, and Digital Comic Association claimed that works by famous authors Haruki Murakami and Keigo Higashino have been illegally sold in the App Store. They’re also dubious of Apples’s claim that it is unable to check for copyrighted material during the application screening process.

While the works have now been removed from the App Store, the publishers’ group is complaining that Apple should do more in the application approval process to ensure that the content of submitted applications does not breach copyrights, says “TNW Asia.” The publishers’ statement “seems to stop short of a legal challenge to Apple,” but they do want a discussion with Apple Japan about how to address the issues, the article adds.