Friday, May 29, 2009

Google to be investigated by Europe

I was delighted and intrigued to hear yesterday that the European Union is to investigate the Google Books programme. It seems that the Germans have objected to Googles's programme of book scanning - of works both in and out of copyright claiming that this contravenes European law. France and our own country have also expressed concern, and quite rightly so, since in the majority of cases, Google are doing this without the copyright holders permission.

The terms of the proposed settlement between Google and the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild allow copyright holders to claim compensation after the scanning has taken place (a bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has gone).

A spokesperson for the European Commission (which may suddenly become more popular among British authors) said "We will now have a welcome opportunity to explain to the European Commission how authors, publishers and Google have agreed to move forward in the United States."

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