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.