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Google Alters Agreement With US Book Publishers Association

Google Inc, along with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers has submitted a revised version of a pact which was first released in October 2008, to the Justice Department, late on Friday.

According to the older pact, Google was to gain permission to sell and distribute millions of digital books online, giving a part of the revenue to the right holders.

Now the revised settlement is based on the same line in addition of new pricing options and services offered by Google in the domain of digital books.

The issue that Google gets to sell digital works whose legal rights owners have not been identified, which are also known as Orphan works, still remains a topic of criticism, although Google has agreed to set up an independent fiduciary to safe guard the interests of the unidentified legal rights owner of the digital works.

However the Justice Department is aware of the fact that the settlement gives Google immunity against lawsuits filed by the owners of the orphan works and said that it is investigating the settlement and will file its reactions in early next year.

Our Comments

Companies like Inc and Microsoft corp. who have concerns about the deal continue to wait for a hearing date on the case which has been pending for many years and the time table for parties to object to the changes made in the pact.

Related Links

US court to consider revised Google Books deal

(Computer Weekly)

Google Books settlement sets geographic, business limits

(CNET News)

Google backtracks on putting world’s books online

(Times Online)

First Googlebooks re-deal won't let orphans go

(The Register)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.