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Google opts to pull Euro books from online deal

updated 01:40 pm EDT, Mon September 7, 2009

Google pulls Euro books from online deal

Google today agreed to a truce with the European union in its deal to create an online book rights registry. The search engine firm's settlement will prevent Google from offering as public domain any European book that's still listed as commercially available in Europe. Any of those books will still be available in the US, but only if those with rights to the book agree to make it available.

Europeans can have access to the books if Google successfully lands a deal. Concerns exist that Google exempt European books that have already been made available in the US, however.

The news nonetheless partly settles a major obstacle to the registry, which was intended to give out-of-print books an independent online presence in the wake of a copyright lawsuit settlement. Google has stressed that it has relied on an opt-in system when possible to get permission for books, but authors and publishers have expressed fears that some titles may still be published without their explicit permission and give Google a high 37 percent cut of the revenue. Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo have also objected under the belief that the registry would give Google too much control over online books.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: Jul 2006


    A strange article

    Who wrote this article? It makes absolutely no sense.

    The registry isn't even an issue--never has been, never will be. It's an add-in to please the Authors Guild and, if it ever gets running, is little more than a way for willing authors to display contact information and made money. Those who champion it compare it to the RIAA for music. It may or may not be a dud, but whatever happens, it's not controversial.

    The real issue is Google's lucrative display of the contents of books without an author's knowledge or permission via Google Book Search. That's clearly illegal at the 20% level (what Google wants to offer online to those in the U.S.), much less the full text (via library subscriptions from Google). It violates U.S. copyright laws and, more important for Europeans, it violates the Berne Convention, which we have signed along with 163 other countries. That's the core issue in this debate. If you want to read the objections of Europeans and others that are being filed with the Manhattan court, go to:

    Pay particular attention the the objections raised by the German government.

    You'll also find my objections there under "Michael W. Perry." I explain the problems of the settlement from the perspective of the average writer.

    But whatever you do, ignore what the "Electronista Staff" has written above. They don't even know enough about this issue to be wrong. Their article makes no more sense that the babbling of a baby.

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