Microsoft attacks Google book deal

Software vendor claims settlement misuses the judicial system
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Software vendor claims settlement misuses the judicial system
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Microsoft has condemned Google’s legal settlement that would allow it digital distribution rights for out of print books that are still under copyright.

According to the Financial Times, the vendor said that the deal was “an unprecedented misuse of the judicial system,” which had circumvented a decision that should be made by the US Congress.

In a legal filing, Microsoft has argued that a settlement based on US copyright laws should not form a model for the global book industry.

“A class action settlement is the wrong mechanism,” said Microsoft’s filing. “This court is the wrong venue and monopolisation is the wrong means to carry out the worthy goal of digitising and increasing the accessibility of books.”

Microsoft’s complaints echo those made by France and Germany, who have likened the deal to a land grab, saying that it would give an American company unprecedented control over online access to European culture and learning.

If the deal goes through, Google will pay $125 million to book publishers and authors in return for allowing US internet users access to segments of out of print books, with revenue split between the three parties.