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Google offers concessions aimed at soothing fears of European publishers

BRUSSELS - Internet search leader Google Inc. said Monday it is making concessions to European publishers to try and soothe worries over its Google Books project, which aims to put many hard-to-find books online.

BRUSSELS - Internet search leader Google Inc. said Monday it is making concessions to European publishers to try and soothe worries over its Google Books project, which aims to put many hard-to-find books online.

Google's digital library has raised hackles among Internet rivals such as Microsoft, Yahoo and Amazon and triggered fears among some European copyright holders that their exclusive rights could be eroded.

Google spokesman Bill Echikson said the company would try to take these concerns on board and would appoint two European representatives to a registry that oversees the project - one representative for authors and one for publishers.

He also said that Google would do more to check that English-language editions of books originally published in a European language weren't wrongly listed as out-of-print in the United States. Publishers feared that adding such books to the Google library would lose them sales and hurt their right to sell books in their catalogue.

The European Commission is Monday holding a hearing to examine the effect of Google's 10-month settlement with U.S. authors and publishers on copyright holders in the European Union.

Unlike the U.S., Google is only scanning European books over 150 years of age to avoid infringing copyrighted material.

 
 
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