Judge Denny Chin’s opinion in rejecting the settlement between Google and the authors and publishers who sued it for infringement of their copyrights can be read as both as a map of wrong turns taken in the past and as an invitation to design a better route into the digital future, reports the New York Review. Extrapolating from the dense, 48-page text that accompanied the judge’s March 23 decision, it is possible to locate six crucial points where things went awry:…Read More
A federal judge on March 22 rejected a deal between internet search leader Google Inc. and the book industry that would have put millions of volumes online, citing antitrust concerns and the need for involvement from Congress while acknowledging the potential benefit of putting literature in front of the masses.
U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan said the creation of a universal digital library would “simply go too far,” and he was troubled by the differences between Google’s views and those of everyone affected by the settlement.
Still, he left the door open for an eventual deal, noting that many objectors would drop their complaints if Mountain View, Calif.-based Google set it up so book owners would choose to join the library rather than being required to quit it.…Read More
The University of Minnesota libraries are sending their first shipment of books to be digitized to Google this month as part of the Google books project, reports the Associated Press. Among the books going to Google are volumes from the university’s noted collections related to forestry, beekeeping, Scandinavian literature, and Minnesota’s early history. The scanning project is part of a 2007 agreement between Google and the academic arm of the Big Ten Conference to digitize more than 10 million unique volumes from Big Ten libraries. Under the deal, when the scanned works are determined to be in the public domain, Google will provide the libraries with digital copies. When complete, the project will have digitized more than 1 million volumes from the University of Minnesota’s general collection.…Read More
Google Inc. wants the digital rights to millions of books badly enough that it’s willing to take on the U.S. Department of Justice in a court battle over whether the internet search leader’s book-scanning ambitions would break antitrust and copyright laws—a battle with important implications for students, teachers, scholars, and researchers.
The stage for the showdown was set Feb. 11 with a Google court filing that defended the $125 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit the company reached with U.S. authors and publishers more than 14 months ago.
Google’s 67-page filing includes a rebuttal to the Justice Department’s belief that the settlement would thwart competition in the book market and undermine copyright law. The brief also tries to overcome a chorus of criticism from several of its rivals, watchdog groups, state governments, and even some foreign governments.…Read More
With the impending arrival of digital books on the Apple iPad and feverish negotiations with Amazon.com over e-book prices, publishers have managed to take some control–at least temporarily–of how much consumers pay for their content, reports the New York Times. Now, as publishers enter discussions with the Web giant Google about its plan to sell digital versions of new books direct to consumers, they have a little more leverage than just a few weeks ago–at least when it comes to determining how Google will pay publishers for those e-books and how much consumers will pay for them.
Google has been talking about entering the direct eBook market, through a program it calls Google Editions, for nearly a year. But in early discussions with publishers, Google had proposed giving them a 63 percent cut of the suggested retail price, and allowing consumers to print copies of the digital books and cut and paste segments. After Apple unveiled the iPad last month, publishers indicated that Apple would give them 70 percent of the consumer price, which publishers would set.
According to several publishers who have been talking to Google, the book companies had balked at what they saw as Google’s less generous terms, and basically viewed printing and cut-and-paste as deal breakers……Read More
The U.S. Justice Department still thinks a proposal to give Google the digital rights to millions of hard-to-find books threatens to stifle competition and undermine copyright laws, despite revisions aimed at easing those concerns.
The opinion filed Feb. 4 in New York federal court is a significant setback in Google’s effort to win approval of a 15-month-old legal settlement that would put the internet search leader in charge of a vast electronic library and store.
A diverse mix of Google rivals, consumer watchdogs, academic experts, literary agents, state governments, and even foreign governments already have urged U.S. District Judge Denny Chin to reject the agreement.…Read More