Sign outside Google headquarters
Sign outside Google headquarters - 
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Bill Radke: It is Google versus the Justice Department today in a New York courtroom. The company plans to build a massive online library. Marketplace's Sarah Gardner tells us a federal judge will decide whether that library is legal.

Sarah Gardner: Today's hearing will determine whether a controversial deal between Google and two big groups of authors and publishers should stand. The deal settled a lawsuit over Google's ambitious book-scanning effort. Writers and publishers decried it as a "massive copyright infringement." Google paid $125 million and promised them a share of future revenues.

But the Department of Justice still objects. It believes the deal undermines copyright laws and may eventually hand Google a monopoly in the online book market.

Jamie Court is president of Consumer WatchDog:

Jamie Court: The reality is when the Department of Justice comes in and says this company has too much power over a market with this type of deal, a federal judge is very likely to listen to that.

Over the past five years, Google has scanned millions of books. The online search giant contends that if the judge approves the settlement, it will, quote, "open the virtual doors to the greatest library in history."

I'm Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

Follow Sarah Gardner at @RadioGardner