Germany voices opposition to Google Books

First, three major U.S.-based companies railed against the Google Books settlement. Now an entire country says nein!  The German government filed a complaint in U.S. courts yesterday warning lawmakers that the Google Books deal could have an international impact on copyright law, privacy, and the rights of German authors.

In 2005, Google enmeshed itself in a bad scene when it scanned millions of out-of-print works without author permission. The Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers balked, Google coughed up $125 million, and here we are.

Though the Google settlement only applies in the U.S., Germany contends that its precedent will affect other countries.

“Once the database is posted, Internet users even in Germany will have access to the Google Books Search by using a freely accessible U.S. proxy server,” said Theodore C. Max, the German government’s lawyer. “In other words, even if the digital book database is entirely localized within the United States, it will still be available for search requests from Germany.”

Now that Germany has paved the way, other countries may take a similar view.

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