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Chinese author sues Google for scanning 'Acid Lovers'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-29

A Beijing court is hearing the case of Chinese novelist Mian Mian, who is suing Google for copyright infringement over the American search engine's plans to create an online library.

AFP - Chinese author Mian Mian, famous for her lurid books about underworld sex, drugs and alcohol, on Tuesday launched a copyright infringement case against Internet giant Google, her lawyer said.

The hearing in a Beijing court marked the start of the first civil law suit against Google in China over the scanning of books into its controversial web library.

"The hearing lasted for two hours," the lawyer, Sun Jingwei, told AFP, noting that attorneys from both sides handed over evidence to the court. "Right now it is not convenient to discuss the details of the case."

Sun has said the key part of the trial was not likely to begin until around March next year.

Google China's spokeswoman was not immediately available to comment.

The 39-year-old Mian Mian -- who won fame in 2000 with her novel "Candy," a story about prostitutes, gangsters and artists in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen -- is seeking 61,000 yuan (8,900 dollars) in damages.

She alleges that Google illegally scanned her third novel "Acid Lovers" into its digital library, Sun said.

Mian's books have been translated into many languages but are largely banned in China, although they were widely available on the black market in the years following the publication of "Candy."

According to the China Written Works Copyright Society, tens of thousands of books by hundreds of Chinese authors have been added to Google Books, the US Internet giant's project to digitise 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 other countries.

Google reached a settlement with US authors and publishers last year over a copyright infringement suit filed in 2005.

Under the deal, Google agreed to pay 125 million dollars to resolve pending claims and establish an independent unit to provide revenue from sales and advertising to authors and publishers who agree to digitise their books.

Date created : 2009-12-29

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