Internet giant’s plan to release digital books rejected by US judge (Amazon must be breathing a massive sigh of relief.)

Its ambitious plan to allow books to be available to read online would give the giant scope to “exploit” book publishers and authors.

The case was initially taken by irked publishers claiming Google book search plan would violate copyrights held on publications.

However, Google had tried to reconcile this by agreeing to pay $125m to establish a forum where authors would receive a sum every time their books were viewed by online readers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

However, the deal, agreed in 2008 has now been rejected by US Court of Appeal as it “give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission,” according to the Judge.

However Judge Chin did give the online powerhouse some hope – urging the parties to “the parties to consider revising the [settlement] accordingly,” meaning it will have to go back to the drawing board and thrash out a new settlement which favours publishers and mitigates possible ‘exploitation’ issues. 

Google’s legal team said it was disappointed with the outcome and will consider its next move.


“Like many others, we believe this agreement has the potential to open-up access to millions of books that are currently hard to find in the U.S. today,” it said in a statement after the hearing.

Google eBooks, formelrly known as Google Editions, is the powershouse’s bid to replicate the success of e-readers like the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle.

Book retail Borders boss James Webber previously criticised Google’s move to make inroads into his bricks and mortar industry, saying “they could become a legitimate bookstore. They aren’t today.”

“They tried to sell telephones too. They failed,” added Webber.

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