'Books' would tell Google about you

Google logo at a stand at Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: A House Committee is looking into the Google Books settlement today. That's a deal Google made with writers and publishers to make most books available on their site. Google's already scanned millions of titles, but objections to the deal could throw a wrench into that online library. Marketplace's Stacey Vanek-Smith reports.


Stacey Vanek-Smith: For the rights to display online almost every book ever written, Google paid the Author's Guild and the Association of American Publishers $125 million. The search giant also agreed to pay royalties when somebody read a copyrighted book on Google.

Richard Koman is a lawyer and blogger on ZDnet:

Richard Koman: They've gotten together and created essentially a joint venture that basically outsources world literature to Google.

What's in it for Google? Information about you. Koman says Google would add your online reading list to the information it already has on how you search the Web. That's a pretty attractive package for marketers and lots of other people.

And that's the problem, says Aden Fine, a senior attorney with the ACLU:

Aden Fine: Google will have the ability not just to know what books you're looking at, but they'll know what pages you're looking at and how long you've spent on each page.

Earlier this week the ACLU added privacy concerns to a litany of anti-trust and copyright complaints already surrounding the Google book deal. Congress isn't the only one looking at it. Federal court will also be reviewing the settlement next month.

I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.

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