European Union Scrutinizes Google Book Search Deal

    May 28, 2009

The Google Book Search team may have access to all sorts of literature, but the simple term "clear sailing" is probably fading from members’ vocabulary.  Another obstacle has come up as the European Union has decided to study if a recent settlement complies with local copyright law. 

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The agreement, which involved the Authors Guild and the Association of American publishers, is controversial mainly due to the fact that authors must officially claim their work.  If they don’t, they’ll receive no compensation when people view it, and there’s also a concern that Google will become the sole provider of many books.

So on to the EU backlash.  The bulk of the opposition originally came from Germany.  Then France and Britain began raising concerns, too.  Now, according to Reuters, Vladimir Tosovsky, industry minister for the Czech EU presidency, said, "The commission will carefully study the whole issue and, if need be, to take steps."

And those are pretty powerful words, considering how the commission has knocked around Microsoft and Intel in recent weeks and months.

Don’t be surprised if Google execs start writing more blog posts about how they want to encourage and further the spread of information.