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Google Speaks: Secrets of the World's Greatest Billionaire Entrepreneurs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page by Janet Lowe

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9.11. THE AUTHORS' REVOLT

Indeed, the Authors Guild filed suit, as did the Association of American Publishers and several major publishing houses. Later, the European Parliament began scrutinizing the company for potential copyright infringement.

The president of Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Jean-Noel Jeanneney, called the project "a piece of Anglo-Saxon cultural imperialism."[]

Two years after the suits were filed, Google and the plaintiffs reached a U.S. settlement that has the potential of revolutionizing the publishing industry and the way people access books. It also set up a powerful moneymaker for Google.

First, let's take a look at what the dispute was all about.

9.11.1. Grand Ambitions

Larry Page took a personal interest in assembling a massive library of books on Google's website. He made a visit to his alma mater, the University of Michigan, in mid-2004, and soon afterward Google quietly started digitizing books from UM's library. Later in the year, the Google Print for Libraries project was made public. The initiative has had several name changes and lately is called the Print Library Project.

"Call me weird," said Sergey Brin, "but I think there are a lot of advantages to reading books online. You don't have to look at it at a funny angle, and today's monitors have better resolution than ever."[]

Eventually, 30 libraries, including Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard universities and the New York Public Library, joined with Google in digitizing books. Google pays ...

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