Mike Harvey in San Francisco writing in The Times
The search group said it would allow Amazon, Microsoft and other rivals to resell books from its digital library, hoping to dampen allegations that it would have a monopoly with its online database of millions of titles.
Google made the concession at a hearing of the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee called to discuss criticism of a planned settlement between Google and US authors and publishers.
The internet company has scanned more than 10 million books in its project to index the world’s literary heritage. Google says it will make a treasure trove of forgotten and out-of-print books available to anyone with an internet connection. Others say mankind’s “last library” should not be owned by one commercial enterprise.
Under the proposed settlement, Google will establish an independent Books Rights Registry in the US that will provide revenue from sales and advertising to authors and publishers.
The settlement, described as the biggest copyright licensing deal in history, was agreed after publishers and authors objected to Google’s scanning of books for an online search service without permission. Rival companies, regulators and campaigners have complained of antitrust concerns, infringed copyrights and privacy problems.