A Beijing judge has told the Chinese novelist Mian Mian, who is suing Google over its plan to create an online library, to hold settlement talks. After a two-hour hearing, the court ordered both sides to talk but did not set a deadline for reporting back, according to the author’s lawyer. She is seeking damages of 61,000 yuan ($8,950; £5,576) and a public apology. The lawsuit was filed in October after Google scanned one of Mian Mian’s books, Acid House, into its library. Google said it had removed the book as soon as it learned of the lawsuit, but had no further comment on the case. Mian Mian writes risque novels – including titles such as Panda Sex and Candy – about China’s underworld of sex, drugs and nightlife. Most of her work is banned in China. She is not alone in complaining about copyright issues raised by Google’s online library. The China Written Works Copyright Society is also looking for compensation for other Chinese authors whose work is included in the project. In France, a court ordered Google to stop digitising French books without the publisher’s approval. The search engine was also told to pay 300,000 euros ($430,000; £268,000) in damages and interest to French company La Martiniere, which had sued for copyright infringement for scanning book excerpts. In the US, Google agreed a $125m settlement with American authors and publishers – although this is still waiting for final court approval.
About Mian Mian
One of the most important writers from China’s new generation, Mian Mian has lived up to her reputation as China’s best bad girl novelist. She drew wide attention from the literati starting at the age of 17 when she became the first Chinese writer to ever describe a drug related life. Her characteristic flavor of “cruel youth” and her serious attitude towards self-reflection quickly attracted a large following of young readers. Her novels have been translated into 15 different languages and published worldwide. Candy, Mian Mian’s magnum opus, an underground best seller, is regarded as the most remarkable adolescent literature in China. In April 2000, the government officially banned her book and subsequently the rest of her books. However by this time, hundreds of thousands of pirated copies had already been circulated. Mian Mian’s literature had exerted tremendous influence on the Chinese X and Y generations. She has become a cultural icon for a generation of Chinese youth who value the authenticity and honesty of her portrayal of the future of the new Shanghai. In 2009 she published her new novel, Panda Sex, in China and France, soon to be published in English.