Open alliance wants Google Books closed
Microsoft, Yahoo! and Amazon join fight against Google’s digital book search
The Internet Archive is stepping up its efforts to fight Google’s digital book search by recruiting tech heavyweights Microsoft, Yahoo! and Amazon to its cause.
Google Books aims to build a digital archive of print books and magazines, and already has more than 20,000 publishers and 29 libraries around the world marketing their books through the service.
Now Microsoft, Yahoo! and Amazon have joined hands to become part of the Open Book Alliance which is set up by the Internet Archive, a non-profit organisation that provides permanent access to digital versions of historical collections to researchers and historians. Together they hope to persuade a federal judge to block or modify Google’s plans for the service.
Google however is no stranger to opposition and has still kept its focus on digital book dreams going. In October 2008, a two year lawsuit brought forward by Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers (AAP) was finally settled in an agreement worth $125 million that saw millions more books and other copyrighted material added to the service.
The Open Book Alliance, which will also include a number of non-profit groups, will try to persuade the U.S. Justice Department that Google's broad settlement with authors and publishers undermines competition in the digital book market.
"The Google Books settlement is injecting more competition into the digital books space, so it's understandable why our competitors might fight hard to prevent more competition," Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker said in reaction to the news.
"That said, it's ironic that some of these complaints are coming from a company that abandoned its book digitization effort because it lacked 'commercial intent'," Stricker added in a veiled reference to Microsoft that had previously abandoned its own efforts to make copies of digital books in order to focus on more profitable opportunities.