BEIJING - China's search giant Baidu has pledged to remove all unauthorized literary works from its free online literary database Wenku within three days.
After receiving requests from copyright owners to remove their works, Baidu has sped up its process of checking for unauthorized items. The unauthorized works were uploaded by Internet users to Wenku without prior approval from the authors, a spokesman for the Chinese search engine giant said in a statement.
In the statement issued Saturday, Baidu apologized for what has "hurt the feelings of a certain number of writers" during Wenku's previous stage of operation, according to a report published Sunday by daily newspaper The Beijing News.
Baidu said it respects copyright laws and will continue to cooperate with publishers and writers to establish a revenue-sharing model that will ensure that copyright owners receive a share of revenues from online versions of their works.
Hailing Baidu's move to remove the unauthorized works, Wang Yefei, deputy head of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Copyrights hopes that Baidu and the publishers should work together to find win-win methods of mutual cooperation, according to the newspaper.
Baidu's online literary database Wenku is an open platform for online resource sharing. It has been in operation since 2009.
More than 40 Chinese writers posted an open letter online on March 15, accusing Baidu of stealing their works and infringing on their copyrights. Baidu's Wenku database was blamed for allowing literary works to become available online without the authors' prior approval.
Baidu was asked to make a public apology, compensate for the writers' losses and halt any cases of copyright infringement.