Google Books, the search engine giant's attempt to create a massive online digital library by scanning millions of books, has often come under fire from governments, authors and publishing for scanning literary works of thousands of writers without their explicit permission.
Now, Google again is gearing up to face an arsenal of lawyers brought together by several authors and publishing houses for the fairness hearing to listen to arguments for and against the Google Books deal between Google and US authors and publishers.
In the deal, Google had paid $125 million to the US authors and publishers in order to secure permission for scanning their published works.
This controversial deal was criticised by several organisations, publishers, authors, consumer groups and governments as all of them believe that the deal was capable of giving Google the monopoly over the online books market.
Commenting on the fairness hearing, John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog said in a statement that “I do think all the books in the world should be digitised but I think it is completely wrong to give one huge company control of that huge database and this is a very very important matter.”
The Consumer Watchdog along with 26 other interested parties will be given five minutes to state their arguments.
The watchdog will also be joined by the Open Book Alliance, which comprises of several organisation opposed to the deal. The consortium includes companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo and will certainly call for the agreement to be scrapped completely.