The nation’s top copyright official has joined the mounting opposition to a class-action settlement that would give Google Inc. the digital rights to millions of out-of-print books, reports the Associated Press. Her objections cast further doubt on whether the agreement will be allowed by a federal court, even as Google offered a key concession aimed at smoothing the way for approval: On Sept. 10, Google said it would open its digital library to rivals and bookstores. Yet parts of the settlement are "fundamentally at odds with the law," Marybeth Peters, head of the U.S. Copyright Office, testified in a House Judiciary Committee hearing that same day. She also expressed concerns that the settlement would undermine Congress’ ability to govern copyrights and could have "serious international implications" for books published outside the United States. Peters can’t block Google’s settlement with U.S. authors and publishers. That decision rests with U.S. District Judge Denny Chin, who has scheduled an Oct. 7 hearing in New York to review the settlement. But Peters’ conclusions will likely be drawn upon as critics of the deal try to convince Chin that the settlement shouldn’t be approved…

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