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EU to seek opinions on Google books deal

Sets a hearing on 7th September to get feedback from publishers and authors

By CBR Staff Writer

The European Union is set to hold a hearing for publishers and authors to seek details on how Google’s book-scanning project will affect copyrights in Europe.

A meeting has been scheduled on September 7th on how the $125m settlement between Google and the US publishers will affect the 27-nation EU. Google said the EU is conducting a fact-finding mission, not an investigation, Bloomberg reported.

Earlier, the European Union said in May it would study Google’s book deal after Germany complained that Google had scanned books from US libraries without the prior consent of the European rights holders.

The $125m deal was struck in October 2008 between Google and the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers. Last month, The US Department of Justice has started an investigation to find whether Google has breached any anti-trust laws by signing the pact.

According to industry sources, the critics contend that the deal would give Google too much control over electronic copies of copyright-protected books.

With the invitation to the September hearing, the commission said that it “is seeking precise details on the exact scope of the settlement” and “how many European works or publications will potentially be affected”, according to Bloomberg.

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