It’s hard to escape the view that what really annoys the European book industry about Google’s ambitious digital library project is that only US internet users will be allowed to browse in it.
According to some estimates, a third or more of the in-copyright books that Google is scanning in US libraries are from European publishers and authors, but European internet users won’t get to see these works. The legal settlement only involves the digital rights to display them in the US.
If this galvanises Europe to work harder to create the conditions for its own digital library, so much the better. But as EU commissioner Viviane Reding warned at the end of this week, there are some significant hurdles to be overcome. Read more