Feeds

Justice Dept to take long hard look at Google Book deal

Monopoly and orphan fears

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

A new approach to endpoint data protection

More from The Register

next story
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
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
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

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?