Nowhere was the anger at Google’s original digital books plan greater than in Germany, where it was seen as blatant cultural imperialism.

So you’d think that Friday night’s news that German books (along with most of the world’s non-English language publications) would now be excluded from the vast digital library would have been greeted with joy. Read more

While some cast yesterday’s news in the Google books saga as the death of the settlement that would have resolved the search king’s long fight with publishers, the bigger picture is that out-of-print books for all just got a lot closer to reality.

True, the New York federal court filing was officially a request to withdraw the deal Google struck late last year with publishers and authors, in the wake of objections Friday from the US Justice Department. But that version had a good chance of getting rejected by the judge, given that the regulatory concerns followed major objections from the non-profit world, other interested parties and the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo. Read more

It may have taken close to 10 months, but opposition to the Google book settlement has finally coalesced.

The Open Book Alliance formally launched today with this promise:

The Open Book Alliance will counter Google, the Association of American Publishers and the Authors’ Guild’s scheme to monopolize the access, distribution and pricing of the largest digital database of books in the world.  To this end, we will promote fair and flexible solutions aimed at achieving a more robust and open system.

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