Following a lawsuit by author Mian Mian over Google’s plans to scan the text of Chinese books, the company has offered an apology to Chinese authors for its handling of the situation. From the New York Times:
Google has agreed to hand over a list of books by Chinese authors that it has scanned in recent years, company executives said Monday, in an apparent effort to placate writers who say their works were digitized without their permission.
In a letter sent to an association of 8,000 Chinese writers, Google also apologized for any misunderstanding that might have angered authors and said it would work to forge an agreement on digitizing books by early summer.
“We definitely agree that we haven’t done a sufficient job in communicating with Chinese writers,” Erik Hartmann, who runs the Asia-Pacific division of Google Books, wrote in a letter to the China Writers’ Association, which posted the letter Sunday on its Web site.
See also “Google Makes Nice with China, but Not That Nice” from the San Francisco Chronicle blog.