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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Microsoft, Yahoo Join Google Books Opposition

Microsoft and Yahoo are joining a group of opponents to a class action settlement that gives Google Inc the right to digitize millions of books.

The companies are becoming part of the Open Book Alliance, made up of nonprofits and libraries that have raised a red flag against Google's plan to digitize books and put them on the Internet.

Critics say the deal gives Google the unimpeded ability to set prices for libraries, once they scan books and put them on the Internet. If the service becomes a necessity for libraries they would face monopoly pricing, Google's opponents say.

Google has agreed to pay $125 million to create a Book Rights Registry, where authors and publishers can register works and receive compensation from institutional subscriptions or book sales. A hearing on approval of the settlement is set for October 7 in U.S. District Court in New York.

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