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October 21, 2009

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Call to protect copyright of writers

CHINESE writers have been urged to protect their copyrights against Google's infringement when it put their books on its massive online digital library, before a United States court hold hearings on the Internet giant's compensation package on November 6.

Google, the world's biggest Internet search engine provider, started scanning libraries for its Digital Library as a public service to American residents. It has scanned several Chinese-language books and put them online and there are suspicions that it may have infringed the copyrights of the Chinese writers.

Last year, Google reached an agreement with the Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers in the US.

The agreement can be applied to Chinese authors under US Copyright Law and will be reviewed during the hearings on November 6. The compensation will be enforced on approval from a US court, according to a statement on the Website of China Written Works Copyright Society.

Under the proposed settlement, Google will offer authors who apply for compensation before June 5, 2010 of at least US$60 for each book and 63 percent of future revenue from online reading. Otherwise, the authors can ask Google to remove their works by April 5, 2011.

"The proposed settlement is unfair to Chinese authors, and we should negotiate with Google in an organized way," the society said in the statement.

Authors who are not satisfied with the settlement have until January 5, 2010 to submit lawsuits.

The society asked authors involved in Google's suspected infringement to be fully prepared to protect the copyrights of Chinese writers.

Google China didn't answer calls yesterday seeking comment.


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