Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo! join fight against Google

The three technology giants of Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo! are to join the Open Book Alliance in their opposition of Google's Book Search service. The coalition is trying to stop Google's plans to create what could potentially be the biggest virtual library in the world.

The Open Book Alliance is currently made up of various charities and libraries and is headed by the non-profit group Internet Archive, which is also the provider of web archive service Wayback Machine. They are opposing a deal agreed last year giving Google the rights to digitize and commercialize millions of books, Reuters report.

The coalition argues that Google is "trying to monopolise the library system," according to the Internet Archive's founder Brewster Kahle. Internet Archive themselves have digitized over half a million books so far, all of which are available for free. Google's book scanning project would make them the main online source for many works which, it is claimed, would allow them to exploit books and the cost of access to them.

The agreement was reached between Google and various publishers and authors last October as part of a settlement following a class action lawsuit filed by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers. The lawsuit had accused Google of copyright infringement for scanning and sharing books without permission.

In the deal Google agreed to pay $125 million to set up a Book Rights Registry to let authors and publishers register and be compensated for the use of their works. The company plan to take 30% from the sale of these books. They would also be able to digitize orphan works - books where the copyright holders are unknown - which are estimated to make up between 50 and 70% of books published since 1923.

Any comments about this settlement have to be made by September 4th so it is no surprise to see opposing major technology companies getting on board with the Open Book Alliance. Whilst Microsoft and Yahoo! have confirmed their involvement, Amazon has yet to formally comment. The US Department of Justice is also conducting an antitrust investigation into the implications of the deal.

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I think a lot of people are missing one tiny little fact about the settlement. It's a NON-EXCLUSIVE deal. That means anyone else, including Microsoft/Yahoo/Amazon/etc is free to make deals with publishers and the Authors Guild and set up their own project.

Yahoo has some of the most popular websites on the internet, they are the second most popular site. They are a huge company and do loads of stuff. Yeah, I would say they are. Not in the leagues of Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle, but they are up there.

A last desperate attempt from an ailing search company. Teaming up with MS is never a good idea. Look at all the companies it's stabbed in the back...

I love how the people that supported the EU legal action against MS suddenly think legal intervention is bad for everybody when Google is involved.

lordcanti86 said,
I love how the people that supported the EU legal action against MS suddenly think legal intervention is bad for everybody when Google is involved.

I support the EU legal action against Microsoft, I also understand why the Internet Archive wants to get Googles license expanded to other companies.

I just don't see what Microsoft and Yahoo have to do with this.

Maybe you could explain that to us, rather than making sweeping statements.

cakesy said,
I support the EU legal action against Microsoft, I also understand why the Internet Archive wants to get Googles license expanded to other companies.

I just don't see what Microsoft and Yahoo have to do with this.

Maybe you could explain that to us, rather than making sweeping statements.

They joined in for the same reasons Google and Mozilla joined in on the EU/IE litigation: it makes good business sense for them to break up an exclusive Google book search deal.

lordcanti86 said,
I love how the people that supported the EU legal action against MS suddenly think legal intervention is bad for everybody when Google is involved.

There's a big difference here.
(1) Google provides it's services for free.
(2) It supports and promotes FOSS software.
(3) MS is a tyrannical organisation. I have yet to see google manipulating the markets for its own nefarious purposes.
(4) Why are we even discussing MS and google in the same context? One is patently evil, while the other improves the lives of all netizens.

LoveThePenguin said,
There's a big difference here.
(1) Google provides it's services for free.
(2) It supports and promotes FOSS software.
(3) MS is a tyrannical organisation. I have yet to see google manipulating the markets for its own nefarious purposes.
(4) Why are we even discussing MS and google in the same context? One is patently evil, while the other improves the lives of all netizens.


Another "ZOMG MS IS TEH EVILIEST ORGANIZATION ON EARTH LOL" comment, awesome.

You know Google promotes open standards because they have a financial incentive to do so, since everybody on any browser can be free....to use Google services. Same reason they supported Mozilla for the longest time. They needed a standardized web to push their cloud computing agenda forward and used Mozilla as a means to achieve that.

Don't kid yourself, Google doesn't support FOSS out of the goodness of their hearts.

lordcanti86 said,
You know Google promotes open standards because they have a financial incentive to do so, since everybody on any browser can be free....to use Google services. Same reason they supported Mozilla for the longest time. They needed a standardized web to push their cloud computing agenda forward and used Mozilla as a means to achieve that.

Don't kid yourself, Google doesn't support FOSS out of the goodness of their hearts.

See, you are to used to Microsoft, you are so cynical. If google could lock people into using there search, they would be made. They would have guaranteed billions for years. If they were Microsoft, they would look for a way, and do it. They don't, and I bet they have never explored it. They have no interest in it, because they come from a different philosophy. They believe in making there stuff better, not lock in. Even Apple has given up on lockin with their ipod, making all tracks DRM free, able to be played on any device.

Only your beloved Microsoft is still active with lockin, DRM, WGA, doc & docx. They love it. Like that cheap whore down the road, they would do anything for money, they have no philosophy except get customers cash, even for stuff they don't use inside Microsoft (sourcesafe). They change there search results to favor themselves (bing), and they will pay off anyone to get there way (Yahoo). The steal techniques from other companies (too many to name, recent Word case as well as Uniloc patent).

cakesy said,


See, you are to used to Microsoft, you are so cynical. If google could lock people into using there search, they would be made. They would have guaranteed billions for years. If they were Microsoft, they would look for a way, and do it. They don't, and I bet they have never explored it. They have no interest in it, because they come from a different philosophy. They believe in making there stuff better, not lock in. Even Apple has given up on lockin with their ipod, making all tracks DRM free, able to be played on any device.

Only your beloved Microsoft is still active with lockin, DRM, WGA, doc & docx. They love it. Like that cheap whore down the road, they would do anything for money, they have no philosophy except get customers cash, even for stuff they don't use inside Microsoft (sourcesafe). They change there search results to favor themselves (bing), and they will pay off anyone to get there way (Yahoo). The steal techniques from other companies (too many to name, recent Word case as well as Uniloc patent).


Ummm...Google is a FOR-PROFIT company. They are in it for the money. If it didn't make them money or further their own agenda they wouldn't do it.

Just like Microsoft. Just like Apple. Just like every other company.

Get over it.

I never knew Google had fans. xD

For me, I use their search because of the clean layout and it actually does most of what I want. I tend to see the product for what it is and how it works, not who actually offers it (though, I am aware of the vendor's name).

Why do we have to engage in fanboyism? I think it's a bit strange. lol

Why doesn't this shock me at all? Dang Microsoft, I thought you were turning over a new leaf with how Windows 7, Windows Live, and Bing was done.

Good luck to Google, I think the idea is awesome actually.

Eh, it's not just Microsoft. Several other groups are in agreement with Microsoft too.

eBooks should stay free for everyone, and Google shouldn't be able to control the market with them.

Bashing Microsoft for being a monopoly for many stuff and complimenting Google for trying to be a monopoly for something is a typical Google-blind-fan behavior.

Glendi said,
Bashing Microsoft for being a monopoly for many stuff and complimenting Google for trying to be a monopoly for something is a typical Google-blind-fan behavior.


Well said!

Glendi said,
Bashing Microsoft for being a monopoly for many stuff and complimenting Google for trying to be a monopoly for something is a typical Google-blind-fan behavior.

There is no problem with Microsoft being a monopoly. The fact that they ABUSE that monopoly, is when problems occur, justice departments get involved, they get fined, they have to change there business models.

Why is it so hard for everyone here to get this point.

Microsoft monopoly -OK, abuse monopoly- NOT OK.

I can't really say it any different to that.

Now you are right, Google shouldn't monopolise these old books, but what has this to do with Microsoft or Yahoo? I understand the Internet Archive, but what do these two have to do with it.

cakesy said,
There is no problem with Microsoft being a monopoly. The fact that they ABUSE that monopoly, is when problems occur, justice departments get involved, they get fined, they have to change there business models.

Why is it so hard for everyone here to get this point.

Microsoft monopoly -OK, abuse monopoly- NOT OK.

I can't really say it any different to that.

Now you are right, Google shouldn't monopolise these old books, but what has this to do with Microsoft or Yahoo? I understand the Internet Archive, but what do these two have to do with it.

Do you think the Internet Archive alone would win against Google?

Quikboy said,
eBooks should stay free for everyone, and Google shouldn't be able to control the market with them.

Who else was digitising books when google was pray tell?

Glendi said,
Bashing Microsoft for being a monopoly for many stuff and complimenting Google for trying to be a monopoly

You are forgetting that google does it for the benefit of us all. They provided lots of free digitised books online. Where is the harm in that? I didn't see MS doing that for us...

Oh really, you prefer one company to be a monopoly instead of an alliance?

You really can't see what is better for you, (snipped).

I do a lot of genealogical, and historical research, and I use Book search a lot. Its great when I'm searching for a surname, or proper name, I can easily find a book with the pertinent information. Then what do I do? I go to m library and check the book out, or get a copy of the page I need. Book search is very helpful to researchers and educators such as myself, it's great for those hard to find research papers that were written in the 1920's. There are many times that I wish that Microsoft and Yahoo would compete with Google on the book search so there would be even more books and papers that are search able, but it seems by this article things are going the other way.

They did before. I really thought Microsoft's Academic and Book search were much better than Google's in style and content. Really. Unfortunately they shut it down

Quikboy said,
They did before. I really thought Microsoft's Academic and Book search were much better than Google's in style and content. Really. Unfortunately they shut it down :(

I guess you were the only one then. That, or Microsoft couldn't plan for the future. Not really sure how they can justify joining this initiative for.

cakesy said,
I guess you were the only one then. That, or Microsoft couldn't plan for the future. Not really sure how they can justify joining this initiative for.

I think they are just doing it as a point scoring exercise. I mean they don't have any viable competing products.

cakesy said,
I guess you were the only one then. That, or Microsoft couldn't plan for the future. Not really sure how they can justify joining this initiative for.

I think they are just doing it as a point scoring exercise. I mean they don't have any viable competing products.

What progress: on the internet, libraries compete! Is this good or bad? Will online libraries have "exclusive" books? Will they try to push certain formats and devices?

Some argue that without profit, there is no motivation to put all these books online. However, everything will eventually end up online anyway. Before ebooks, people were transcribing books and putting them online, or scanning them and making PDFs. Certain literature requires translation or restoration to be put online, but traditionally museums and libraries have used their funding to perform these tasks, or certain publishers have released the works onto the market to pass into the public domain later on as many books have.

What do any of these companies and/or organizations intend to do, and how will it work out for access to these books? Will there be restrictions based on location, like with many video services or iTMS for example?

Hopefully this works out as well as traditional methods have.

Google has a reputation of giving things away for free so I can't seem them monopolizing anything here. I think this is just MS, Amazon, and of course Yahoo (riding MSFT coat tails) running around screaming the sky is falling because they didn't think of it first.

I can't see Google giving the books away for free if they intend to take 30%, but we might see them at nice prices considering this will cut out all printing and shipping costs.

IMO though, I still prefer to sit down and read a hard copy book over reading a digital book, though I haven't used an e-book reader before, so that might change.

So what? Being a monopoly means one company is in control of an entire industry.

Why is Microsoft a browser monopoly when IE is free?

Glendi said,
So what? Being a monopoly means one company is in control of an entire industry.

Why is Microsoft a browser monopoly when IE is free?

IE isn't free. If you're on Linux or Mac OS X, you need to buy Windows to get it.

Ledgem said,

IE isn't free. If you're on Linux or Mac OS X, you need to buy Windows to get it.

You go back to my word. IE is free but you have to use Windows. The dude above said that Google usually makes stuff free but you still have to use Google. Same deal. I was merely pointing out that this thing google tried to do is called a monopoly as well.

Ledgem said,

IE isn't free. If you're on Linux or Mac OS X, you need to buy Windows to get it.

So Neowin is not free because you have to buy computer to read it and pay for internet connection? What about IE for Mac?

Glendi said,

You go back to my word. IE is free but you have to use Windows. The dude above said that Google usually makes stuff free but you still have to use Google. Same deal. I was merely pointing out that this thing google tried to do is called a monopoly as well.

MSIE is not free, it is simply part of Windows which the end-user/organisation must purchase. It's different to Firefox or Safari which are technically free.

kizzaaa said,

MSIE is not free, it is simply part of Windows which the end-user/organisation must purchase. It's different to Firefox or Safari which are technically free.

So all programs which are windows only are not free because you can't use them on Linux or Mac? (snipped) Being compatible on all Operating Systems is not a requirement for being free.

Either way, you have to use Google to access the book library so your statement is invalid even if it's incorrect.

Tim Dawg said,
Google has a reputation of giving things away for free so I can't seem them monopolizing anything here. I think this is just MS, Amazon, and of course Yahoo (riding MSFT coat tails) running around screaming the sky is falling because they didn't think of it first.

+1
Agreed. Yahoo has now become MS's pet dog after the bing deal. Does anyone really think MS would have joined an open organisation had they thought of this first? Proprietary lock-ins are almost guaranteed with MS.

Glendi said,
So what? Being a monopoly means one company is in control of an entire industry.

Why is Microsoft a browser monopoly when IE is free?

(1) The browser monopoly is the direct result of the inclusion of IE in windows.
(2) MS isn't fined / prosecuted because of its browser share, but its desktop OS monopoly, and the abuses of it. Including the inclusion of IE in windows to control the portal to the internet, and thus the search / advertising market, and a whole host of other opportunities which it wouldn't have had, had it not exploited its desktop OS dominance.
(3) The cost of IE is built into windows, and the search/advertising revenue it generates. So no it's not free. Why do you think they flout so many antitrust laws just to keep it tied to the OS? The huge potential revenue of course. When it's not the default browser, why would anyone in their right mind download IE?

LoveThePenguin said,
(1) The browser monopoly is the direct result of the inclusion of IE in windows.
(2) MS isn't fined / prosecuted because of its browser share, but its desktop OS monopoly, and the abuses of it. Including the inclusion of IE in windows to control the portal to the internet, and thus the search / advertising market, and a whole host of other opportunities which it wouldn't have had, had it not exploited its desktop OS dominance.
(3) The cost of IE is built into windows, and the search/advertising revenue it generates. So no it's not free. Why do you think they flout so many antitrust laws just to keep it tied to the OS? The huge potential revenue of course. When it's not the default browser, why would anyone in their right mind download IE?

1. A browser should be a part of an OS. A feature. I see no monopoly here.
2. You call it an exploit...
3. You can get IE for Mac. It's free.

Glendi said,
1. A browser should be a part of an OS. A feature. I see no monopoly here.
2. You call it an exploit...
3. You can get IE for Mac. It's free.

You can still get Netscape Communicator as well. They're both about as old. MSIE on the Mac is no longer supported nor has it been updated in years.


... How did this become about browsers again?