Feeds

Google acts to quell critics of book deal

Too little, too late?

Security for virtualized datacentres

Google has written a letter to 16 European Union publishers in an effort to allay some of their concerns about Mountain View’s digital books settlement in the US.

According to today’s Financial Times, Google has agreed to have two non-US reps on the governing board of the registry that will oversee the settlement.

Additionally, the web kingpin said it plans to consult European publishers before digitising and cataloguing some European works in its library.

Last week the German government declared its opposition to Google's landmark October 2008 book settlement, claiming it would “irrevocably alter the landscape of international copyright law”.

It said the deal “runs afoul of the applicable German national laws, as well as European public initiatives to create non-commercial worldwide digital libraries”.

Microsoft, Yahoo! and Amazon have also made plenty of noises about the court settlement, which arose after Google was sued by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers in 2005.

Eventually the two sides reached a deal after Google agreed that the publisher groups would have the final say on whether their members' copyrighted works may be used in Google’s Book Rights Registry. It also agreed to pay $125m to resolve any outstanding claims.

But for many publishers and authors, such an agreement is simply too much to swallow. Some have argued that the deal took place behind closed doors without proper consultation, while others see it as irrevocably undermining copyright law.

Meanwhile, the European Commission is today considering the Google Books deal.

Open Rights Group’s executive director Jim Killock said at the hearing this morning that the discussion shouldn’t focus simply on “a compromise between two commercial interests”.

He called on EU officials to consider the best methods of delivering literature and other cultural works to the 27-member bloc’s citizens.

"European literature may shortly be more widely available in the US than in Europe," said Killock. "This would be ironic, regrettable and damaging to European cultures. It is also unnecessary.

"We think we must now accept that there is something very wrong with EU copyright law. The incontrovertible evidence is that it needs substantial reform every time an innovative service using copyright works comes along.”

He claimed that current copyright law was out of step with the digital world, saying: "We need a limitation to copyright to allow the search and indexing of copyright content.” ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.