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Bill Radke: The European Commission is holding a hearing today on Google Books — this is Google’s plan to put millions of books online. It’s run into stiff opposition within the European Union,
as Stephen Beard reports from London.
Stephen Beard: Today’s hearings bring together European publishers, authors, librarians and other groups with a keen interest in the Google plan. Some of them fear that their valuable rights could be lost. Some are concerned that Google will wind up dominating the market for digital books. But others are worried that if Europe rebuffs Google, only American culture will be made fully accessible online.
Underlying the European concern is a legal minefield. There is no Europe-wide copyright law. What is out of copyright in Germany may still be protected in France.
Ahead of today’s hearings Google has offered an olive branch. The company has agreed to have two non-American representatives on the board that will administer the Book project.
In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.