Feeds

Justice Dept to take long hard look at Google Book deal

Monopoly and orphan fears

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Google is facing an investigation by the US Justice Department, after signing a controversial deal with the Author's Guild, which will see it censoring books included in its digital archive in the same way it censors videos on YouTube.

The details of the agreement reached with publishers gives Google monoploy rights on publishing books included in the deal - so if Google decides to delete a title it will effectively disappear.

If Google labels a book "inappropriate", no one else can publish it online without risking being sued. There's no indication what Google might dee an "inappropriate" book. Perhaps they'll turn to the Vatican for guidance, the Catholic Church having some experience in these matters.

The US Department of Justice is also looking at the deal, reached with the Author's Guild last October. Under the agreement Google pledged to establish a Books Right Registry - US copyright holders can get onto the register and get a cut of 63 per cent of Google's earnings from their work, or can ask for their work to be removed. If they don't receive an opt-out request, Google has the right to scan and offer for sale digital copies of books.

DoJ interest does not automatically scupper the deal, which still needs court approval to go ahead. The deadline for objections to the court was to be 5 May - that's now been extended to 4 September.

Justice Department lawyers have talked to opponents of the deal and are considering the anti-trust implications, according to anonymous sources. There has not yet been any official confirmation from the DoJ.

The deal also controversially gives Google rights over "orphan works" - books written by people who cannot be traced.

There's an interesting interview with the New York Law School's Professor James Grimmelmann here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.