EU to study how Google Books impacts authors

The European Union’s executive body will study plans by Google to make millions of books available online after Germany said the Internet company’s project flouts EU copyright law.The bloc’s industry ministers agreed on Thursday to ask the European Commission to look at how Google’s settlement with authors in the United States affect writers’ rights in the EU. see:EU to Investigate Google Books’ Copyright Policies [IDG]
Government ministers from the European Union’s member countries are meeting Thursday and expected to call for an investigation into the way Google Books handles copyright.Google Books carries extracts of books protected by copyright, as well as complete works whose copyright has expired. Authors and publishers have to opt out of the service to get their titles removed.The German government suspects that this business model is illegal in Europe. It will propose that the European Commission, the E.U.’s executive body, open an inquiry to see if Google Books conforms with Europe’s copyright laws.”Google Books raises concerns in some member states,” said a Czech diplomatic source who requested anonymity. The Czech Republic currently occupies the E.U.’s six-month rotating presidency.Other countries known to share Germany’s concerns include France. A French law passed earlier this month allows the government to cut Internet access to people who are caught illegally downloading copyright-protected material three times.

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