rivals band to fight Google books

Three major technology players will be joining together in a coalition to fight Google's virtual library.

Google's attempt to publish books online could create the world's largest virtual library but Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo are all signing up to the Open Book Alliance - which is being spearheaded by the Internet Archive.

"Google is trying to monopolise the library system," the Internet Archive's founder Brewster Kahle told BBC News. The foundation opposes a legal settlement that could make Google the main source for many online works.

"If this deal goes ahead, they're making a real shot at being 'the' library and the only library."

Google reached an agreement with publishers and authors in 2008 to settle two lawsuits that charged the company with copyright infringement for the unauthorised scanning of books.

In that settlement, Google agreed to pay $125m (£76m) to create a Book Rights Registry, where authors and publishers can register works and receive compensation. Authors and publishers would get 70% from the sale of these books with Google keeping the remaining 30%.

Google would also be given the right to digitise orphan works. These are works whose rights-holders are unknown, and are believed to make up an estimated 50-70% of books published after 1923.

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