PA to file submission to EU over Google

The Publishers Association will file a submission to the European Union about Google's book-scanning programme after it launched a consultation into the deal.

During a meeting on 7th September, the EU will examine how the $125m settlement, between US publishers and Google, will affect European copyright. Critics of the deal have claimed that Google will have too much control over in copyright books that are out of print.

Benjamin King, head of policy and communications at the PA, said its position on the deal has not changed. Some PA members have objected to the criteria used to determine whether a book is out of print. Critics also hit out at a lack of European representation on the board of the Books Rights Registry, the independent body that will distribute revenue from the Google Book Search programme to rights holders.

King said the PA will attend the hearing and make a submission. However, he said he was unaware if the EU had any powers to affect the deal. He said: "One would hope any public view the EU comes to would carry considerable weight . . . It's not clear at this stage apart from in the court of public opinion whether this hearing will hold any sway."

The $125m settlement was signed in October 2008 although the ratification date has been already postponed by four months until October.