Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Trouble for Google Book Search?

In April, the Google Book Search settlement was postponed until September to give authors more time to participate in the settlement or opt out. At the time, John Simpson, a consumer advocate for Consumer Watchdog, commented, “The four-month extension is a big victory for those who oppose the Google Books settlement. It's a clear recognition by the judge that there are problems with the proposed deal. The extension also gives the Justice Department more time to consider the antitrust issues that we and others have raised and discussed with them."

According to an article from The New York Times, the Justice Department is in fact investigating the antitrust issues and has now issued civil investigative demands to Google, the Association of American Publishers, the Authors Guild, and individual publishers. Michael J. Boni, a partner at Boni & Zack, who represented the Authors Guild in negotiations with Google commented, “They are asking for a lot of information. It signals that they are serious about the antitrust implications of the settlement.” The article notes that the formal requests for information do not necessarily indicate that the government will oppose the settlement but it could delay the approval because the judge is no likely to approve while an investigation is pending. While several prominent library associations have already commented on the settlement, for the retail community there is still uncertainty regarding how to respond.

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