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Microsoft, Yahoo, Amazon fight Google Book Search

Group forms Open Book Alliance

Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo plan to join a consortium to fight a proposed settlement Google has made with authors and publishers over its Google Book Search service, according to a report published in The New York Times.

The coalition, which is being formed by the Internet Archive and tentatively called the Open Book Alliance, will be announced in the next couple of weeks, according to the news report. It plans to oppose the agreement in briefs to the court and tell the US Department of Justice that the deal is anticompetitive.

Some library associations and groups representing authors also plan to join the coalition, according to the report.

In 2005, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers sued Google, alleging the company had infringed copyrights by scanning books without always getting the approval of authors and publishers. The parties reached a tentative settlement last October that would give Google the rights to digitize and sell millions of books.

Both the parties have said the settlement could help authors monetize digital work and readers to access millions of out-of-print books. But critics have argued that the settlement could have widespread implications and limit competition in the digital book space. The Department of Justice is investigating the deal for possible violations of the Sherman Act, an antitrust law.


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