Microsoft, its new pet dog Yahoo, and Amazon have decided to join together in the soon to be formed Open Book Alliance. You might expect this to be a revolutionary new collaborative effort at delivering the written word in a way that makes Google Books pale into insignificance, but you would, of course, be wrong. Far from trying to compete with Google, The OBA is set to act as the collective mouthpiece for all those opposed to Google's recent $125 million settlement deal with book publishers and authors. With the US Department of Justice already investigating antitrust concerns relating to the case, the other big dogs just couldn't restrain themselves from coming together for a united whinge. Should the settlement be cleared, it will permit Google non-exclusive rights to orphan works (those without an established writer) and will give it a 30 per cent cut of books sold via Google Books, both things that authors have agreed to. So what's there to moan about, fellas -- we all trust Google to do the right thing, right?

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Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo unite against Google Books