GBS: More Moot Criticism

It looks like the Chinese are still taking potshots at the old version of the settlement:

The company has offered a compensation settlement of $60 per book to authors, as well as 63 percent of the revenue from online reading. To reject the package and Google’s right to scan their works, however, writers must appeal before Jan 5 next year.

Zhang, who met with executives from Google on Nov 2, blasted the offer as unacceptable.

“Google violated Chinese writers’ copyright. It is ridiculous for a business in the US to set a deadline for Chinese writers to protect their interests. Also, the company should clearly admit to its infringements and negotiate with Chinese authors sincerely,” he said.

There is much more at the link, but the article and some of the authors quoted in it seem to be unaware of the existence of the amended settlement, which would take most Chinese authors out of the class entirely. Does news of such thing still travel by clipper ship?

You might consider the possibility that the Settlement is irrelevant to Chinese authors and Chinese authorities. What they want is for the scanning of copyrighted works by Chinese publishers and authors to stop, until they give their permission. The evidence suggests that Google has not and will not stop any scanning of anything, foreign or domestic, copyrighted or not, while U.S. pundits dissect the new language in the Settlement.

First, determine whether Google is continuing to scan copyrighted Chinese material. Don’t take Google’s word for it, but check with the University of Michigan and other major libraries, such as U.California, U.Texas, and U.Wisconsin.

If you get that far, then second, determine whether Google is now “dark archiving” similar material if they’ve previously scanned it.

Third, find out whether the Chinese got the apology they requested.

If you get through all three of these, it may be time to criticize the Chinese for being out of touch. Until then, your point is, in my humble opinion, rather out of place.

Here is what seems like a much better-informed piece from China.

Apparently Google and the China Written Works Copyright Society are in negotiations:

Both sides will have another round of negotiations on Friday. It will focus on several topics including how many Chinese books Google has scanned, how to compensate for the violation and how Chinese writers receive profits from the digital library.

Zhang Hongbo, Deputy director of China Written Works Copyright society, said, “The negotiation focuses on two aspects. The first one is that we require the Google Digital Library to provide detailed information for scanning Chinese copyrighted works. The second one is that we need to understand the works’ format provided by Google and their commercial mode.”

Google and the Chinese authors are evidently seeking a separate deal outside the scope of the GBS.

Quite sensible of both parties, in my opinion.