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Google Books Settlement: rejected
March 23, 2011 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Federal Judge Denny Chin ended a thirteen month consideration of Google Book's Settlement offer by rejecting it, saying it would give the company a “de facto monopoly.”

Publishers Weekly said it was a “stunning” turnaround of expectations. Chin was “troubled by the high number of people — 6,800 — who opted out of the agreement.” PW cites New York Law School professor James Grimmelmann, who said Chin “was clearly swayed by what he saw as a broad base of opposition to the settlement from a diverse group of class members.” As a New York Times report by Miguel Helft summarized it, “Google’s ambition to create the world’s largest digital library and bookstore has run into the reality of a 300-year-old legal concept: copyright.” On the subject of orphan works, Chin says that Congress, not Google, would be better suited to decide on a mechanism for exploiting unclaimed books.

A Financial Times report says Google released a statement saying, “This is clearly disappointing, but we’ll review the court’s decision and consider our options. Like many others, we believe this agreement has the potential to open-up access to millions of books that are currently hard to find in the US today.” The case has been going since 2005, when Google was sued for copyright infringement for scanning books without permission. What next? Most likely Google will appeal with a new settlement offer, considering it has already scanned - illegally under current law - around 12 million books.
posted by stbalbach (7 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: thanks for the write up, post it in the open thread? -- jessamyn



 
stbalbach: "Most likely Google will appeal with a new settlement offer, considering it has already scanned - illegally under current law - around 12 million books."

Whoa!

Perhaps they'll torrent the entire collection for us if we ask nicely.
posted by zarq at 8:45 AM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I strongly recommend reading Metafilter's Own James Grimmelman's report on the topic. It is highly readable and explains Chin's logic well. If you read nothing else, read this.

Eric Hellman also has an interesting take on the remaining Rights Registry.

I, for one, am very happy with this decision.
posted by fake at 8:45 AM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Previously, yesterday.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:46 AM on March 23, 2011


Sheesh, how did I miss it, sorry about that.
posted by stbalbach at 8:48 AM on March 23, 2011


I think congress should act to make whatever Google is doing legal, because google books is amazing.
posted by empath at 8:59 AM on March 23, 2011


I think this is a pretty reasonable decision, since Google's plan would have essentially made them the sole owner of any books they can't find the author for. That should be far too monopolistic for any reasonable legal test.
posted by happyroach at 9:10 AM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think congress should act to make whatever Google is doing legal, because google books is amazing.

Would you say the same thing if it were, say, Microsoft?

Everyone should applaud this. One day this will happen, but it will happen with the authors having some say and being able to negotiate terms. Google makes enough money on the backs of uncompensated content creators already to give them yet another avenue of exploitation.

Funny how Google is so rarely seen as the evil, monopolistic corporate giant that they absolutely are.
posted by three blind mice at 9:16 AM on March 23, 2011


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