Official backs writers in fighting Google books scanning

08:33, November 25, 2009      

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Internet search juggernaut Google has probably breached copyright laws by scanning Chinese books for its online library, a Chinese newspaper quoted a government official as saying.

"I personally think Google is probably involved in copyright infringement," said Wang Ziqiang, a director-general of the National Copyright Administration, according to the Beijing News.

"We support Chinese writers, the China Written Works Copyright Society and the Chinese Writers' Association to defend their rights based on the law and facts."

The Beijing News quoted Wang as saying that he did not find any solid evidence to support Google's claim that its scanning Chinese books without prior approval of the authors, was legitimate.

The comments came after the two Chinese writers' groups accused Google of scanning the works of members without authorization, and have demanded it pay compensation "as soon as possible".

According to the copyright society, at least 17,922 books by 570 Chinese authors have been added to Google Books, the US Internet giant's controversial move to digitize millions of books and post them online.

The Google Books project has also raised objections from authors and publishers in the United States, France, Germany and others, according to an AFP report.

People's Daily Online-Agencies
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