Feeds

Google to subpoena Yahoo! and Microsoft in library battle

Book 'em, Google

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

New developments in online selling and the lawPublishers and authors are taking Google to court over its programme to digitise the libraries of four US universities, Oxford university library and the New York Public Library.

Google has said that it will subpoena two of its fiercest competitors, Yahoo! and Microsoft, for information relating to their own book scanning operations as part of the case. The information being sought by Google includes project costs, lists of books, estimates of sales and details of discussions with publishers.

The competitors may be reluctant to hand over sensitive commercial information to Google, but the court has ordered restrictions on who can see the data. "We have also made clear to these organizations that we will work with them to address any concerns about their confidential information," Google spokeswoman Megan Lamb told newswire Bloomberg.

Google said that it would also issue similar subpoenas for documents from Amazon.com and publisher Random House.

Google's project involves the digitising of books at the libraries so that they can be searchable in a project called Google Book Search. The publishing industry is instead backing a separate project called the Open Content Alliance (OCA).

The OCA's specific aims are to make sure that content is freely available and that works in the public domain remain in the public domain after digitisation. That programme is backed by a mixture of companies and non-profit organisations.

The OCA is backed by Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, the Smithsonian Institute Libraries and the UK's National Archives. Yahoo! and Microsoft are also part of the OCA, and it is documents in relation to this which Google is asking to see.

The OCA seeks specific copyright permission before copying any work. Google's project allows a rights owner to stop a work being copied but automatically copies works unless it has been instructed not to.

The Association of American Publishers is co-ordinating the legal action and says that copyright law mandates that someone ask before copying any work, rather than operate on an opt-out basis.

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.