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Amazon, MS, Yahoo fight Google e-book plan

updated 03:45 pm EDT, Fri August 21, 2009

AZon MS Yhoo Fight Google

Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo made conscious moves to thwart Google on Friday with word all three are joining the Open Book Alliance. Created independently by the Internet Archive, the group is resisting the outcome of a copyright dispute that has resulted in Google creating a Book Rights Registry that would see it manage many digital books' rights and let it publish digital versions of books with unknown publishing rights. The Alliance claims the registry would give Google too much control over e-books and hurt literature in the future.

They also raise privacy concerns as Google's control of millions of books would let the firm theoretically abuse its position by tracking users' habits.

Google has countered the stance by accusing the new members of being afraid of more competition and noting that many of the books it would be converting to digital form have been out of print for decades. The search engine pioneer also claims that its revenue split, which sees it take a flat 30 percent cut of revenues, should be favorable to authors.

Google already has control over hundreds of thousands of books in the public domain and has lately used this to get a foothold in the e-book world by granting access to these books to Sony as well as Barnes & Noble. Microsoft and Yahoo currently have very little stake in e-books to date, while Amazon's criticism has been somewhat muted by its insistence on a proprietary format for the Kindle that prevents any rival from using the same books.

Microsoft's entrance into the alliance marks it as one of the first major computer software developers to enter into e-books in earnest. Its common challenger Apple famously dismissed e-books when CEO Steve Jobs claimed there was no pressure for an e-reader as "people don't read anymore."

by MacNN Staff



  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why exactly would Google have "control" over books in the public domain? Did they buy up all copies of them and are now refusing to permit anybody from viewing them without paying to access them?

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    every time i hear ms cry "no fair!" about anything i just have to laugh.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Damn! Microsoft

    practically sewed up the whole freaking computer industry with Windows, Windows Server and Microsoft Office and they are crying unfair. I believe Microsoft is either extremely greedy or maybe just getting scared that somebody is going get larger than they are. 90% of the consumer and business global computer market should be more than enough for one company. They need to tend to their own business at hand before reaching into everyone else's.

    I think as time goes on, people are reading traditional newspapers and magazines less. I used a have many magazine subscriptions and read newspapers, but now I spend all my time reading articles on the internet. An eReader that can deliver me internet content would work fine for me.

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