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Google makes concessions to Europeans

Under pressure on Books deal, Google vows to exclude out-of-print books still available in Europe.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor on

Bowing to rising protests from Europe over the Google Books settlement in the US, Google now says it will exclude from its proposed Books Registry books that are out-of-print in the US but still available in Europe, The New York Times reports. Google also said it would invite European publishers to join the Registry's board.

The Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace, a Microsoft-based, Europe-based organization, offered modest praise for the concession but said it didn't change the basic problem.

“There are widespread concerns that the settlement leads to monopolization in digital access to online access and sales of books in Europe and in other parts of the world as well as effects on other markets, such as search and search advertising,” (a representative) said.

And more concerns:

Sylvie Foder of Cepic, the Coordination of European Picture Agencies Stock Heritage, said at a news conference that she was particularly concerned about what could happen to the rights to photographs inside printed books once they are digitized. “Google can pretty much do what it wants,” she said. Jessica Sänger, the legal counsel at the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, said the settlement would heavily discriminate against European publishers that were not involved in its drafting.

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