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Amazon's Bezos hits out at Google over books deal

Saucer of milk for table ten

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Jeff Bezos, chief executive of Amazon.com, has called for Google's book digitisation project to be sent back to regulators.

Amazon, and its Kindle digital book device, are right in the centre of Google's crosshairs as it starts to turn its digital book archive into a business.

Bezos was asked what he thought of Google's digital book moves at the Wired Business Conference.

He said: "We have strong opinions about that issue which I'm not going to share. But, clearly, that settlement in our opinion needs to be revisited and it is being revisited...it doesn't seem right that you should do something, kind of get a prize for violating a large series of copyrights,".

Several groups have criticised the settlement between copyright holders and Google because it gives Google rights over "orphan works" - books whose authors cannot be found.

But even if he is worried about Google the Kindle seems to be doing pretty well all on its own.

Bezos said that of the 300,000 books available digitally on the Kindle or as physical books sales for the Kindle now account for 35 per cent of total sales - a figure he described as startling.

He said it was only since using the Kindle that he became aware of the failings of old-style books. He said books: "had a great 500-year run. It’s an unbelievably successful technology. But it’s time to change.”, according to the Wall Street Journal. ®

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