Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Judge Rules Against Google Books Settlement

Good decision: Agreement needs an opt-in rather than opt-out in order to fully protect copyrights. That would also help get around the inappropriate fact of a publishers' org and the Authors Guild presuming to have authority to negotiate for all authors of out-of-print works, which they don't. Puts power back into the hands of true copyright holders. paidContent: "A federal judge has ruled against Google (NSDQ: GOOG) in its long-standing attempt to expand a plan to scan and then distribute millions of books online. Google was sued by the Authors’ Guild and the Association of American Publishers back in 2004, with the writers’ groups saying that the company’s Google Books site broke copyright laws. The two sides settled their dispute in 2008, but revised that initial settlement in fall 2009 in response to objections from the Justice Department and competitors, who claimed that the initial settlement gave Google too much control over the electronic distribution of in-copyright, out-of-print books. In an opinion issued today, U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin said the new settlement remained too favorable to Google. 'The [settlement] would give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission, while releasing claims well beyond those presented in the case,' Chin wrote. ... "