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Amazon.com Won't Provide Search Details

Google and others say they want search info to help combat copyright infringement, but are denied by the online retailer due to "trade secrets" concerns.

(San Francisco) As expected, online retailer Amazon.com Inc. has objected to providing details about its book search feature to rival Google Inc., which says it needs them to fight copyright infringement allegations from a group of authors and book publishers.

In a Monday filing, Amazon.com described Google's request, which was made via a subpoena served on Oct. 6, as "overly broad and unduly burdensome" and said it would expose Amazon's trade secrets.

Amazon lawyers also note how Google wants "essentially all documents concerning Amazon's sale of books on its Web sites, and all searching and indexing functions."

"Google can not show any substantial need to obtain Amazon's proprietary information," despite Google's promises to only use the information to defend itself against the lawsuits, Amazon's lawyers wrote.

Google says it needs the details to battle recently consolidated class action lawsuits filed against it by several major book publishers and The Authors Guild, which collectively allege Google didn't get the proper approvals before making their work available to anyone with an Internet connection.

Amazon's objections were apparently the first from the group of companies Google formally asked for book searching details in early October.

It's expected that Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc. and major book publishers Random House, Holtzbrinck Publishers and HarperCollins will also object.

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