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Google Faces Tough Challenge on Book Settlement Issue

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Google Faces Tough Challenge on Book Settlement Issue

If the planned coalition spearheaded by the Internet Archive is to take shape, Google might find itself facing a tough battle ahead. Worst, this coalition is slowly getting followers. And mind you these groups are  not just followers but big and powerful followers including Microsoft, Yahoo and possibly Amazon. In addition, some big libraries are also sending feelers that they will support the said coalition.The coalition is  attacking the Book Settlement which Google struck last year with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers. This will free Google from the lawsuit filed by authors and publishers in 2005. Once the lawsuit is resolved, it will grant Google the right to published books it scanned and make them available to practically everyone, provided they use the scanned books on Google’s Book Search portal. In return, Google would share revenue generated from ads which it will run along these scanned books to copyright owners.

In defending the agreement, a Google spokesman was quoted by the WSJ stating:

“The Google Books settlement is injecting more competition into the digital books space, so it’s understandable why our competitors might fight hard to prevent more competition.”

Unfortunately for Google, this is not how a group of authors, librarians, European publishers and privacy advocates viewed the deal. In fact those who opposed it did so since last year. These groups claimed that the Book Settlement practically gives Google unfair copyright immunity which will give the edge over competitors when it comes to the digital book market.

So while the issue is still under investigation, the said coalition are currently laying out plans and strategies on how to make sure that US District Court will not rule favorably to Google.

Among the libraries planning to support the coalition are the Special Libraries Association, and the New York Library Association. These libraries are supported by the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

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Arnold Zafra

Arnold Zafra writes daily on the announcements by Google, Ask.com, Yahoo & MSN along with how these announcements effect web ... [Read full bio]

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