US Copyright Office attacks Google Books deal

A heavyweight in the shape of the head of the US Copyright Office told Congress that a proposed settlement between Google and publishers caused her serious concerns.

Marybeth Peters made a written deposition before the House Judiciary Committee today that a settlement between Google and authors and publishers would circumvent copyright law. Such a settlement, she said, meant an encroachment on copyright which falls under Congress’ domain.

The settlement, made last year, will have to be approved by a federal judge and that hearing happens on October 7th. The latest intervention by the head of the US Copyright Office adds to pressure on Google, which has already attracted the attention of the Department of Justice and authorities from the European Union.

Both Microsoft and Amazon have also expressed their opposition to the settlement, which would allow Google to, in effect, become an online global library with millions of books available via a search engine.

Google has already scanned in a vast number of volumes.