Rivals Teaming Up Against Google

Google Books settlement now facing opposition group backed by Yahoo, Microsoft

By Jackson West
|  Friday, Aug 21, 2009  |  Updated 5:45 PM CDT
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Rivals Teaming Up Against Google

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Critics say Google Books settlement gives the company an unfair advantage in the race to digitize libraries.

A settlement between Google and groups representing authors and publishers over the company's attempts to digitize as many books as it can get its hands own is now facing stiffer opposition.

Sunnyvale-based Yahoo, as well as Microsoft and Amazon in Washington state, have signed on with a group that intends to legally challenge the deal.

And one of the groups leaders is Gary Reback, the lawyer who helped pursue the successful antitrust suit against Microsoft -- guess there's no hard feelings!

The Google Books deal essentially allows the company to scan any book it finds, leaving it up to copyright holders to claim their works.

Claimed books will garner a one-time fee, as well as a cut of advertising revenue from ads served up by Google alongside the text and images of the books online.

Also in the group is the San Francisco-based Internet Archive, which archives information on the Web, as well as a number of library associations.

However, critics don't necessarily want the deal blocked outright, but revised.

Meanwhile, a number of school and student associations have signed up to support the settlement.

Jackson West needs to go to the library more often.

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