Google makes concessions to European publishers

In a move to assuage European publishers’ concerns over book digitization, Google on Sept. 7 said European books still listed as commercially available will not be included in its online registry of orphaned and out-of-print works, CNET reports — unless rights holders give their express authorization. The search giant also said it will let two non-U.S. representatives onto the eight-person board of the Books Rights Registry, which was set up to govern the proposed books settlement reached with U.S. publishers and authors who sued Google in 2005. But the U.S settlement–which has been alternately hailed by civil rights groups as a way to bridge the digital divide and hampered by opposition from authors and privacy advocates–will only apply to users in this country. Google made its conciliatory gestures as the European Commission kicked off a series of discussions aimed at "seeking precise details on the exact scope of the settlement" and "how many European works or publications will potentially be affected…"

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