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Google Editions still on track for 2010

Warwick Ashford

Google has confirmed plans to launch a digital bookstore before the end of the year that will step up competition with Amazon and Apple.

The company had indicated that the service, to be known as Google Editions, would be launched around July, but now says that is unlikely, according to The Independent.

Google is negotiating with some of the world's largest publishers to sell electronic copies of their books hosted on Google's servers.

Google Editions is aimed at making electronic books available to any web-enabled device, including Amazon's Kindle reader, which is tied to Amazon's digital store.

Google Editions will include only books submitted by publishers, unlike the company's controversial Google Books service.

Publishers and authors launched a legal challenge against Google's practice of scanning thousands of copyrighted out of print books.

The two sides reached a $125m settlement agreement in 2008, but the US Department of Justice called for the agreement to be revised in 2009 because of copyright concerns.

The revised agreement failed to quash US and European concerns about how it will affect international copyright law and is still awaiting court approval.

In February, a New York District Court postponed a decision on whether or not to approve the revised settlement.

Presiding judge Denny Chin said he would not reach an immediate decision at a fairness hearing because of the amount of feedback from 27 different parties, but did not say when a ruling would be issued.


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