Chinese author Mian Mian sues Google

Chinese author Mian Mian sues Google

The Shanghai-based bad girl becomes the first Chinese writer to take on the internet giant over its digital library
Mian Mian novel Candy
Mian Mian's novel "Candy" about a rock-n-roll drug addict was banned four months after publication

One of China's most controversial authors, known for her tales, and lifestyle, of drugs and sex, is taking Google to court over its digitalistion of her work.

At a hearing today in Beijing, Chinese author Mian Mian’s attorney presented evidence of copyright infringement against Google’s digital library.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the China Written Works Copyright Society called on local writers one month ago to take a stand against the internet giant’s proposal to authors and publishers on the Mainland.

The 39-year old novelist Mian Mian is no stranger to controversy, courting worldwide fame with her lurid tales of China’s underworld including novels “Candy” and “Panda Sex”. Her books are officially banned in China, but remain popular on the black market and overseas.

What’s she asking for? For starters, an apology and RMB 61,000 in damages for scanning her novel “Acid Lover” without permission or compensation.

Google China argues only snippets were published online, but deleted portions of Mian’s novel in November. Although, according to Ccsics's blog, Mian has also claimed for damage to her literary reputation as keyword searches continue to bring up what she describes as “….incoherent passages…ruining her story”.

The China Written Works Copyright Society claims via Daemon News that tens of thousands of books by Chinese authors have been added to Google’s digitalized library project. Other countries have also raised objections, including the United States, where a USD 125 million settlement was reached with authors and publishers last year. No comment from Google China so far.

Stephanie Thomas is a freelance writer of all trades based in Shanghai.
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