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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Google defends revised settlement

As mentioned in a previous posting, several groups including the U.S. Department of Justice recently filed objections to the revised Google Book Search settlement. The U.S. Department of Justice explained on their website that despite the substantial progress reflected in the revised settlement there are still class certification, copyright, and antitrust issues. According to a new article from eSchool News, Google has issued a filing to defend its revised settlement and is not planning to withdraw the settlement to make revisions as it did in November.

Beginning tomorrow, Google will attempt to win the judge’s approval at the fairness hearing. If approved, consumers will be able to access the millions of books that Google has scanned over the past five years. Many of the books are orphan works or those which are under copyright but out-of-print and the rights holders are unknown or can not be located. Major libraries including university libraries contain large numbers of orphan works and Google could gain exclusive rights to publish the books online and profit from them. As of our members noted several months ago, if the settlement is approved, it could be a real game changer and easily affect every community and stakeholder in the industry.

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