Chinese writers body urges Google to keep promise on copyright issue

18:37, March 22, 2010      

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The Chinese Writers Association (CWA) has urged Google to fulfill its commitment to settle a copyright infringement dispute over its digitizing of more than 8,000 books without authorization.

"We hope that Google will carefully live up to its promise and provide a satisfying solution to the issue as soon as possible," Yang Chengzhi, a senior official with the CWA, told Xinhua on Monday.

Internet search service provider Google in December published a list of the Chinese books and productions that the company had scanned and categorized after being accused by the CWA of copyright infringement.

More than 8,000 books written by 2,600 CWA members are on the list.

Google apologized to the Chinese writers involved in a written reply to the CWA on Jan. 9, promising to negotiate with the CWA and work out a solution to the infringement no later than the end of March.

The copyright issue and negotiations with the CWA came amid Google's threat to pull out of the Chinese Internet search market, complaining of cyber attacks and China's censorship regulations regarding illegal content.

The Chinese government has warned Google that even if the company decided to retreat, it should make good settlements with local clients and other parties.

Yang said Google postponed the fourth round of negotiations scheduled on Jan. 12 and had remained silent on the issue for more than two months. The CWA and Chinese writers were "very concerned about whether Google will keep its promise and respect Chinese writers' copyrights."

The CWA hoped Google would keep its promise "to firm up a solution and the framework of a corresponding agreement by the end of March and strive to sign an official agreement in the second quarter of the year," Yang said.

Telephone calls to Google China headquarters in Beijing went unanswered on Monday.

Source: Xinhua
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