Google Subpoenas Rivals on Book Scanning
Another chapter in the battle for book search dominance was written last week as Google issued additional subpoenas to other major book search players in a bid for information the company believes could be used in its future legal battles.
According to published reports this week by Bloomberg, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company filed paper on Oct. 5 in U.S. District Court to seek information from Amazon.com, Microsoft and Yahoo about each of the rival book searches for future use in several lawsuits Google faces.
The world’s largest online retailer (Amazon), largest software producer (Microsoft) and most-popular U.S. Web site (Yahoo) have all announced or launched plans to scan major collections of books and digitize them. Unlike Google’s effort, only books publishers that enroll or out-of-copyright books will be included in the other search projects.
In preparation for pending cases by the Author’s Guild and McGraw-Hill Cos., Google had already subpoenaed Random House Inc., HarperCollins Publishers Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers and the Association of American Publishers.
The search giant’s purchase of YouTube, for $1.65 billion, on Monday could pose another legal headache. The popular Web site hosts a significant amount of copyright-material posted by users without permission from the copyright holder. Although recent licensing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony BMG, the world’s two largest record companies, will provide the site with legal content, the user-created aspect of posting content may be trouble down the road.