Copyright talks postponed between Google, China writers

08:15, January 13, 2010      

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A fresh round of negotiations scheduled for Tuesday afternoon between search engine Google and China writers over online books copyright disputes had to been postponed, both parties said.

The expected meeting, the fourth one since November, was scheduled between Zhang Hongbo, deputy director general of the China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS) and Erik Hartmann, Asia-Pacific head of Google Books.

Zhang told Xinhua Tuesday that the talks were canceled upon Google's request. No specific date has been fixed to resume the talks.

Google's Beijing office did not comment on why it put forward this request and said it had kept "communicating with the CWWCS".

According to Zhang, Google was supposed to apologize for its infringement, provide a final list of Chinese books it scanned, and fix a timetable for copyright issue settlement during the talks during Tuesday's talks.

Chinese Writers Association (CWA) said on Sunday it had received an apology from Google, which admitted in the document that it had scanned books under Chinese copyright for its online library, and the act had caused dissatisfaction among Chinese writers.

Google said through the recent talks it realized its communication with the Chinese writers was not good enough and would apologize for it.

According to a list provided by Google at the end of 2009, its on-line library involves some 80,000 categories of Chinese books, ten percent of which were works of 2,600 members of the CWA.

The company was working on a complete list of the scanned Chinese books, according to the document.

Google also insisted in a separate statement that it "is fully compliant with US and Chinese law," and its "goal remains bringing millions of the world's difficult-to-find, out-of-print books back to life, in addition to giving millions of new books attention through direct relationships with publishers."

The CWWCS said that Google had scanned Chinese books without proper authorization.

Source: Xinhua
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