FutureFive NZ - Controversy over Google’s book project continues

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Controversy over Google’s book project continues

Both supporters and detractors of Google’s plan to digitise tens of millions of books and make them available online met in a Manhattan courtroom yesterday to take part in a so-called ‘fairness hearing’, as the judge prepares to make his final decision.

Google argued that their proposal – to create a massive, searchable online archive of unclaimed published material – was legal and would massively expand public access to information.

Critics of the project however argued that the project would violate anti-trust and copyright laws and would be to the detriment of authors and competition.

Even Microsoft and Amazon.com weighed in, urging Judge Denny Chin to reject a settlement between Google and Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, arguing that such a deal would give Google a monopoly over works which were unclaimed published works.

Those eager for an immediate ruling were disappointed however, as Judge Chin declined to make a ruling yesterday, stating that “There is just too much [information] to digest.”

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