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Google back in court for book deal

26 critics line up for legal counterblaste

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Google is in court later today New York to face critics of its agreement with US publishers to digitise the world's books.

Judge Denny Chin will hear evidence from 26 critics of the deal. These include Amazon and Microsoft, along with several publishers. France and Germany will also give evidence, the Beeb reports.

The case is seen by some as granting Google an effective monopoly on the world's literature.

The search giant's massive book scanning scheme is also under investigation from Department of Justice and European regulators.

Google reached agreement with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers in 2008. This created a way to pay copyright holders as well as allowing Google to exploit 'orphan works' - books with either no copyright holder, or a copyright holder who could not be found.

As part of last year's amendment Google agreed to create an independent fiduciary to keep all revenues from orphan works for ten years. After five years a quarter of this money can be used to trace rights holders and after 10 years the remaining money would go to literacy charities. ®

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