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Google apologizes to Chinese writers

[ 2010-01-11 11:35]     字号 [] [] []  
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Google said its communication with Chinese authors was "not good enough" after it published sections of their work in its online library Google Books without their permission.

Chinese writers accused Google of copyright infringement last October when the search engine used sections of their work online, and without their permission. They asked Google to apologize and have also demanded compensation.

Google's Book Search, for which the world's largest Internet search engine scans hundreds of thousands of books and places part of their content online, has also been met with legal challenges in the US and Europe.

Erik Hartmann, Asia-Pacific manager of Google Books, said in a CCTV report broadcast yesterday that the company was sorry for any unhappiness.

"Google has made Chinese writers feel dissatisfied in terms of their copyright protection. We are apologetic for the unhappiness brought about by this issue," Hartmann said.

"Through the discussions and communications of recent months, it is our understanding that our communications with Chinese writers have not been good enough," AFP quoted Hartmann's written statement as saying.

"Google is willing to apologise to Chinese authors."

The China Written Works Copyright Society, a non-government organization representing writers on copyright issues, said it would meet with Google about the copyright issue for the fourth time on Tuesday.

"Google's apology is made mainly because the company values the Chinese market a lot, as well as due to the domestic media's close attention to the issue," Zhang Hongbo, deputy director of the society, told China Daily.

"They're prepared to issue an official apology to the society on Tuesday," he said. "We expressed appreciation for the act."

Besides an apology, Google will also provide an expanded list of Chinese books it used, and a timetable for resolution of the copyright issue, Zhang said.

Google said it had scanned more than 20,000 books under current Chinese copyright protection for its library.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Google apologizes to Chinese writers

Google apologizes to Chinese writers

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for China Daily for one year.