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Amazon Adapts New Search Feature Over Copyright Concerns

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

06 November 2003


According to reports, internet retail giant, Amazon.com has quietly made changes to a new feature on its website which allows potential customers to "Search Inside the Book".

The search feature, introduced on October 23, allows internet users to search the complete text of books, and was eagerly signed up to by around 190 publishing houses, with more reportedly clamouring to participate following the launch of the service.

However, according to Author's Guild, when the service debuted, staff managed to print some 180 consecutive pages of a bestselling book.

"We believe that most authors should sit tight and see what further technical improvements Amazon makes before deciding whether to pull their books from the program," the Guild announced in a statement at the time.

Reports this week have suggested that last Friday, the print option was quietly disabled, meaning that the service now presents less of a threat to authors, particularly of reference titles, who had expressed concern that people would merely print the pages they required rather than purchasing the books.

However, Amazon vice president, Steve Kessel refused to confirm whether users were ever able to print using "Search Inside the Book", and whether Amazon has changed the feature, citing security concerns.


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