Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo Stand Up To Google


Google’s Books service has been one of those projects that genuinely revolutionises the way people (or at least, students) think about search and research. The only problem is that Google is the only option when it comes to making books indexed and searchable.


That’s all well and good when its competitors are fighting to make themselves heard, but when some bigger dogs get involved, Google may find itself in serious trouble. Microsoft, Yahoo and Amazon have all thrown their not inconsiderable weight behind what’s being called the Open Book Alliance, according to the New York Times.

The issue the Open Books Alliance is taking with Google’s agreements with publishers revolve around how far reaching those agreements might be. As has been pointed out in a few different places, there are some very awkward statements in there, including one that grants Google rights to so-called “orphan books” whose copyright holders can’t be found, which is to say the least, a bit dodgy.

As the head of The Internet Archive pointed out in an interview with the BBC, “Google is trying to monopolise the library system. If this deal goes ahead, they’re making a real shot at being ‘the’ library and the only library.” The real question for now is whether or not Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto will carry them through this situation or force them to reconsider the situation that Google Books is in at the moment.

The real question now is what kind of impact the legal weight of Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo will have on the ongoing case. You can read a lot more over at the New York Times, here.


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