Feeds

US states mulling Google book-scan pact

Trailing the DoJ?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A group of US state attorneys general recently held a conference call to discuss Google's $125m digital book settlement with the US Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers.

The settlement - made after authors and publishers sued over Google's library-scanning Book Search project - is already facing an investigation by the US Department of Justice.

News of the state AG conference call first arrived to from Reuters, and it was confirmed to The Reg by the Internet Archive's Peter Brantley, who was on the conference call. The Internet Archive has its own book-scanning operation, and it's among those who have raised objections to the Google settlement.

Brantley was clear that he has no knowledge of whether the AGs plan to take any official action over the pact. "My impressions of the call are that it was a conversation seeking to obtain general background information about the settlement, and I provided a background on Google's scanning activities and the Internet Archive scanning activities and then articulated what the settlement means for these two parties and what our concerns were."

Brantley also took questions from the AGs. The call lasted about an hour.

Reuters quoted Brantley in its story, but he says the news service was clearly aware of the conference call before it phoned him.

In a now famous piece in The New York Review of Books, Harvard University libraries boss Robert Darnton warned that the settlement would grant Google "a monopoly - a monopoly of a new kind, not of railroads or steel but of access to information."

The settlement creates a "Book Rights Registry" where authors and publishers can resolve copyright claims in exchange for a pre-defined cut of Google's revenues and it gives Google rights to so-called "orphan works," books whose rights are controlled by authors and publishers who haven't stepped forward. The concern is that once Google settles all copyright claims in one fell swoop, it would be ridiculously difficult - read: costly - for a competitor to catch up. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.