21 July 2009

EU sets hearing over Google books deal

The European Commission is to hold a hearing on September 7 for interested parties to comment on Google's deal with publishers to make millions of books available online and its impact on EU writers' rights. The European Union executive had said in May it would study Google's book deal after Germany complained the company had scanned books from U.S. libraries to create its Google Books database without prior consent of rights holders. Britain and France also backed Germany. In a deal with the Authors Guild and the Association of American publishers last October, Google agreed to pay $125 million to create a Book Rights Registry, where authors and publishers can register works and be compensated from institutional subscriptions or book sales. The U.S. Justice Department is now looking into this settlement.