Google has come across more opposition to its digital book plans, this time from the US Justice Department.
Google last year agreed to pay $125 million to settle copyright claims by authors and publishers who said Google's search engine infringed their copyright by making digital copies of their books without permission. Google had promised set up a "Book Rights Registry" as part of the settlement to identify and compensate rights holders whose books were copied by Google.
Justice Department lawyers said the settlement could violate antitrust and copyright laws, Bloomberg.com reports.
The US Justice Department told a federal judge that an agreement between Google Inc. and the groups of authors and publishers might be too broad and raises significant legal concerns.
"The United States is committed to working with the parties constructively with respect to alterations the parties may propose," the Justice Department wrote in the filing.
US District Judge Denny Chin scheduled a 7 October hearing on the deal to help him decide whether to accept or reject the deal, and set aside time for Justice Department lawyers to speak then.
The case is Authors Guild v. Google Inc., 05-cv-8136, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).