Feeds

Google books deal 'bad for biz', thunders Microsoft

Frenchies not kissing up to web giant either

Top three mobile application threats

Opposition to Google’s plans to scan and punt millions of books on the interwebs has swelled in the past 24 hours, with the French government, Microsoft and privacy groups all voicing their concerns about the deal.

France was the latest government to chide Google’s ambitious Book Registry proposal by saying it failed to recognise intellectual property law or competition law and claimed it represented “a threat to cultural diversity.”

Meanwhile, rival tech multinational Microsoft was quick to bemoan Mountain View by claiming it would have a stranglehold on copyrighted books that are available digitally online.

“The proposed settlement... confers on Google a new monopoly by authorising Google (and Google alone) to engage in the wholesale commercial [Microsoft’s italics] exploitation of entire copyrighted books,” opined the firm in a brief filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York yesterday.

The software maker also claimed that the proposed settlement agreement between US publishers and authors and Google could be harmful to its revamped search engine, Bing, and said the scheme was "an unprecedented misuse of the judicial system".

MS operated its own book digitisation project until it was canned in May 2008.

It complained in the brief that the Google Books deal is different to its own aborted effort because “Microsoft did not scan and display any copyrighted books without permission of the copyright owner.”

In August Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo! huddled together by forming an Open Book Alliance that opposed the Google project.

Last week Google wrote a letter to 16 European Union publishers in an effort to allay fears about the web kingpin’s digital books settlement with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers that was agreed in October 2008.

It followed a class action copyright infringement lawsuit filed by the two groups - on behalf of all US right holders - in 2005.

Google agreed to pony up $125m to resolve outstanding claims and establish an independent “Books Rights Registry” that would generate revenue for sales and ads to authors and publishers who consent to having their books digitised online.

Not everyone is opposing the proposed settlement, however. Sony Electronics, which recently inked an agreement with Google to make Chrome the default browser in its PCs, defended the deal. The Japanese tech giant claimed it would open the accessibility of out-of-print books by making them easily available online.

Yesterday was the deadline for the filing of briefs for or against Google’s deal in the case. A US District Court in New York will hold a fairness hearing on 7 October.

The bookcase continues. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.