|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] They are OUT OF PRINT stupid..
|February 5, 2010
Justice Dept. Criticizes Latest Google Book Deal
By MIGUEL HELFT
In another blow to Googleâ€™s plan to create a giant digital library
and bookstore, the Justice Department on Thursday said that a
class-action settlement between the company and groups representing
authors and publishers had significant legal problems, even after recent
In a 31-page filing that could influence a federal judgeâ€™s ruling on
the settlement, the department said the new agreement was much improved
from an earlier version. But it said the changes were not enough to
placate concerns that the deal would grant Google a monopoly over
millions of orphan works, meaning books whose right holders are unknown
or cannot be found.
The department also indicated that the revised agreement, like its
predecessor, appeared to run afoul of authorsâ€™ copyrights and was
too broad in scope.
The revised agreement â€œsuffers from the same core problem as the
original agreement: it is an attempt to use the class-action mechanism
to implement forward-looking business arrangements that go far beyond
the dispute before the court in this litigation,â€ the department
The department asked the court to encourage the parties to continue
discussions on further changes to the settlement, which it said had many
While the Justice Department did not explicitly urge the court to reject
the deal, as it had the previous version, its opposition on copyright,
class action and antitrust grounds represented a further setback for
Google and the other parties to the deal.
The settlement stems from copyright lawsuits filed by the Authors Guild
and the Association of American Publishers over Googleâ€™s plan to
digitize books from major libraries. The settlement, introduced in
October 2008, would allow Google to make millions of books available
online and commercialize them, while creating new ways for authors and
publishers to earn money from digital copies of their works.
But the deal faced a chorus of critics who argued that it would give
Google a monopoly on millions of out-of-print books and had failed to
take into account the interests of many authors.
In a statement on behalf of Google and the author and publisher groups,
a Google spokesman, Gabriel Stricker, said the Justice Departmentâ€™s
filing â€œrecognizes the progress made with the revised settlement,
and it once again reinforces the value the agreement can provide in
unlocking access to millions of books in the U.S.â€ He said Google
looked forward to the courtâ€™s review of the departmentâ€™s views
and those of the dealâ€™s supporters.
Critics of the agreement include Amazon, Microsoft and a range of
authors, academics and public interest groups.
Judge Denny Chin of the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, who will rule on the settlement, scheduled a
hearing on the agreement for Feb. 18.