Germany gives objections on Google online books

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s government has submitted written arguments to a court in New York against plans by Internet group Google to publish millions of scanned books online, the Justice Ministry said on Tuesday.

Google has sealed a deal with author and publisher groups in the United States allowing it to copy books for the Internet, but the agreement has drawn criticism.

Germany has complained that Google had scanned books from U.S. libraries for a database without asking the owners, and there are also fears the service will be expensive for libraries as it is unclear what Google may charge them.

“We hope that the court will not give its approval to the accord, or at least that it will remove German authors and publishers ... so they are unaffected,” said German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries in a ministry statement.

If that happens, Germans could decide for themselves whether to make their works available to Google.

German officials will take part in a fairness hearing on October 7, said the ministry.

Last week, the European Union’s media commissioner said she backed the Google deal.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Rupert Winchester