Google eases European anger over book deal
Google will appoint two European representatives to its Books Rights Registry, as it seeks to calm fears that European copyright holders are being left out in the cold by its controversial book deal.
The search giant is currently in the midst of a massive project to digitise thousands of books held by US libraries and universities, and make them available online.
As part of the deal the company is creating a Books Rights Registry, where authors and publishers can register works and receive a portion of the revenues earned from ads, subscriptions and sales.
However, the deal has been attacked by the German Government which claims it will allow Google to digitise books without the consent of European authors, sidestepping the country’s copyright law.
In an attempt to head this claim off, Google will appoint two European delegates to the Book Rights Registry, one representing authors and the other publishers.
The company claims it will also institute stringent checks to ensure that books originally published in a European language aren’t wrongly listed as out-of-print in the US – a situation which would leave Google free to digitise them.
European publishers have expressed concern that adding these books to the registry would harm their exclusive copyright.
The move comes as the the European Commission conducts an investigation to determine what impact the deal is likely to have on European authors.
The deal is also under assault from rivals such as Microsoft and Amazon – which recently described the move as an antitrust nightmare.