Google apologized over the weekend to authors in China whose books it scanned as part of the Google Books project, and promised to stop scanning books in that country.
Tensions had built between Chinese author groups and Google--as they have in many other parts of the world--over Google\'s decision to scan books by Chinese authors as part of its quest to build a digital library. According to IDG News Service, a Google representative read a statement on China\'s state broadcast network saying \"due to different starting notions and different understandings of the copyright law systems in China and the U.S., our behavior has caused discontent among Chinese writers.\"
Google agreed to stop scanning books in China, but hopes to reach an agreement with Chinese author groups later this year and to continue the project to everyone\'s satisfaction, according to the report. The company already faces a lawsuit from a prominent Chinese author over the project, and it\'s not clear whether Sunday\'s apology will have any effect on that case.
Back in the U.S., Google is scheduled to appear at a final hearing in New York on February 18 to approve its revised settlement. Authors affected by the settlement will have another opportunity to opt out and preserve their right to sue Google, but face a deadline of January 28 to do so. Authors who had previously opted out but wish to participate in the settlement following revisions overseen by the Department of Justice can also do so by January 28.