Erik Hartmann, Asia-Pacific manager of Google Books, has made a public apology to Chinese writers for using their literary works without their approval.

According to Hong Kong and Taiwan Media, Google says it has attached great importance to the copyright claim made by the China Writers Association, and through the discussions and communications of recent months, it is its understanding that its communications with Chinese writers have not been good enough. Google stresses that Chinese books are an integral part of its online book search service and it hopes to solve the disputes with Chinese writers through the negotiation with the China Written Works Copyright Society, a non-government organization representing writers on copyright issues.

Google promises to "display the whole page of Chinese writers' books with their approval and not use any Chinese literary works in any countries of the world without the authorization of China Writer's Association."

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

In October 2009, the China Written Works Copyright Society condemned Google for using 17920 books of 570 Chinese writers without their approval. CWWCS asked Google to issue a full list of Chinese writers' books it used before January 7, 2010.


  1. This is nonsense! Google should not apologize because it sets a very bad precedent for how search engines operate in the future. Google is indexing books in the same way they index webpages. Yes I know webpages complain too that they are in the index but it is all over board on this ridiculous talk about theft and IPR violations. Google is adding to the value of these books andf not diminishing them. Chinese writers are stupid for complaining especially since their country is so responsible for so much overall IPR theft in the world!


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