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Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo Join Open Book Alliance

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Google's archiving of digital copies of literary works may have some benefits - the provision of millions of titles to Sony Reader owners, for example - but the scheme isn't pleasing everyone. The Open Book Alliance, run by the Internet Archive, for instance fears that "Google in trying to monopolise the library system" - and Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo! are backing the Alliance.

The issue under debate is a revenue sharing deal struck by Google with authors and publishers to allow their content to be archived on Google Books. The deal is, however, still awaiting court approval and the Open Book Alliance, now with the backing of Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo!, is lobbying to have the deal rejected.

According to the Alliance, ""If this deal goes ahead, they're making a real shot at being 'the' library and the only library." Were the OBA to get its way, content would be available to all and sundry - surely the best solution as eBook readers become all the more prevalent?

It might be argued that Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo! don't quite have the same altruistic motive as the Open book Alliance. Clearly Amazon won't want Google in control of content it might wish to make available on the Kindle, and with Microsoft and Yahoo! BFF now it's unsurprising they'd want to rain on Google's parade, given the chance.

Nonetheless I think the cause is a worthy one. I'd rather have multiple sources vying against each other, than let Google take control. We'll have to wait and see if the outcome of this sets a worrying, or relieving precedent. Any thoughts?


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Via BBC News.

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