August 24, 2009

Time Running Out? [3:31 pm]

Opposition Grows in Europe to Google Book Deal (pdf)

Opposition is mounting in Europe to a proposed class-action settlement giving Google the right to commercialize digital copies of millions of books.

The settlement would permit Americans to buy online access to millions of books by European authors whose works were scanned by Google at American libraries.

While some big European publishers, like the Oxford University Press and Bertelsmann (which owns Random House) and Georg von Holtzbrinck (the owner of Macmillan), support the agreement, there is widespread opposition among French publishers. The German government, supported by national collection societies in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain, plans to argue against it and encourage writers to pull out of the agreement.

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