Google scales back online library plans

Google and the Authors Guild have filed a new version of a proposal to create a massive online library, hoping to avert antitrust and copyright concerns in the US and overseas.<br /><br />As part of the amended deal, books in the registry would be reduced to those copyrighted in the US or published in the UK, Australia and Canada.<br /><br />&ldquo;After hearing feedback from foreign rights-holders, the plaintiffs decided to narrow the class to include only these countries, which share a common legal heritage and similar book industry practices,&rdquo; Google said.<br /><br />Under the $125m (&pound;75m) agreement, Google would set up a Book Rights Registry that would compensate publishers and authors whose books were scanned. <br /><br />The Registry would also locate rights holders of unclaimed, or &ldquo;orphaned works&rdquo;. <br /><br />In the previous proposal, money from works that remained unclaimed after the search would revert back to the registry &ndash; a system that had been criticised for creating a conflict of interest &ndash; but this will now go to an independent fiduciary rather than the registry.<br /><br />The 30-page court filing, made late on Friday, also omitted a section that required the book registry, created by the settlement, to give Google at least as good a deal as any competitor.<br /><br />Google&rsquo;s plan to put millions of books online has been praised for expanding access to books but has also been criticised on antitrust, copyright and privacy grounds.