Feeds

States wade into Google book deal row

Never judge a search giant by its cover

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Hostility to Google’s proposed settlement with authors and publishers continues to build across the pond, where five state attorneys general have bemoaned the Books Rights Registry deal.

US state legal advisors from Missouri, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Washington filed briefs this week, according to Market Watch.

Their complaints join a chorus of disapproval levelled at Google, which has come under fire after agreeing a digital books settlement with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers in October last year.

The deal followed a class action copyright infringement lawsuit filed by the two groups - on behalf of all US right holders - in 2005.

Google agreed to pony up $125m to resolve outstanding claims and establish an independent “Books Rights Registry” that would generate revenue for sales and ads to authors and publishers who consent to having their books digitised online.

The attorneys general argue that Google’s plan to use payments when the rights holders can’t be tracked down could be unlawful.

Under the settlement the registry, and not the state treasurer, would keep the proceeds on the author/s or publisher/s behalf while they continue to try and locate those individuals or groups, according to the brief filed jointly by the states.

They allege the unclaimed payments could "constitute a misdemeanor which carries a penalty ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 and up to 12 months imprisonment” because they ignore state unclaimed property laws.

Additionally Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said he was mulling antitrust and copyright concerns that had been raised about the deal.

The legal briefs are the latest in a long line of arguments filed with Judge Denny Chin of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ahead of a 7 October hearing about the proposed settlement. The court is yet to approve the deal, so submissions both for and against the registry have swelled.

On Wednesday Chin confirmed the court had received around 400 submissions about the proposed settlement. The judge also extended the deadline for submissions again to 21 September due to what he described as the “apparent public interest in the case”.

Separately, Google is in talks with the US Department of Justice over possible changes to its controversial Book Search settlement.

Mountain View wonks have reportedly teamed up with the US authors and publishers on the other side of the pact in an effort to alleviate the DoJ's concerns that it would hamper competition in the fledgling ebook market. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.