Microsoft, Yahoo! and Amazon to battle Google book deal

21 Aug 2009

Microsoft, and Yahoo! are understood to be planning a consortium to take on the proposed settlement Google has made with authors and publishers over its Google Book Search service.

According to a report in the New York Times the coalition will be tentatively known as the Open Book Alliance.

Expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks, the Open Book Alliance plans to oppose the agreement between Google and publishers and will tell the US Department of Justice that the deal is anti-competitive.

It is understood that some library associations and groups representing authors also plan to join the not-for-profit coalition.

In October Google reached a sweeping settlement with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers. These two groups had sued Google for copyright infringement in 2005 over its plans to digitise millions of books from libraries.

The agreement created a settlement whereby Google will be able to display and sell books by millions of authors, including many out-of-print books.

The authors and publishers groups hailed the deal as a way for millions of authors to make money from digital copies of their books.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years