Feeds

Judge sets November deadline for Googlebooks pact

Inconsistent timeline?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Google has until November 9 to revise its $125m book-scanning settlement with American authors and publishers.

According to the Associated Press, federal judge Denny Chin set the deadline after the parties involved in the settlement said they were working, uh, around the clock to complete a revision by early November.

A fairness hearing the controversial settlement was originally set for today, but after an investigation by the US Department of Justice, Chin postponed the hearing. Google and the plaintiffs in this four-year-old case have said they're working to bring the accord into line with changes suggested by the DoJ.

In the fall, Google settled a lawsuit from the US Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers over Google Book Search, a project that seeks to digitize millions of texts inside several of the world's leading research libraries. At the time, the Mountain View web giant had scanned more than 10 million books, and many are still under copyright. The deal creates a "Book Rights Registry" where copyright holders can resolve claims in exchange for a cut of Google's revenues.

But it also gives Google a unique right to digitize and sell and post ads against "orphan works," titles whose rights holders have not come forward. Other organizations could negotiate the rights to works in the Registry, but the Registry alone would have the power to set prices.

Opposition to the pact was widespread, with the most vocal objections tumbling from the Open Book Alliance, a collection of organizations including the Internet Archive, Microsoft, and Amazon. Though the Alliance is pleased as punch that the original settlement was not approved, it questions whether the DoJ's objections can be addressed before a November 9 deadline. The original settlement was 134 pages of legalese.

"Based on the court hearing today, one thing is clear - whatever revised settlement Google and its partners unveil on November 9th must be subject to full review and scrutiny by the vast array of stakeholders - authors, academics, consumer advocates, privacy groups, libraries, and others - who have spoken out," reads a statement from the Alliance.

"By their own admission, they have taken the deeply flawed original settlement off the table. So, any revisions to the settlement that would resolve the flaws identified by the Department of Justice and other objectors must be fundamental in scope. This is inconsistent with the timeline they proposed. This is not the time for shortcuts."

And regardless, the Internet Archive et al still prefer federal legislation to a Google-controlled civil settlement. "It’s also clear that the settlement partners have zero interest in creating an open process that takes input from critical stakeholders," the Internet Archive said.

"Instead, Google and its partners are serving their private business interests and ignoring the public interest. They came to the courtroom without a single concrete recommendation of how they would address any of the problems with the original settlement. Instead, they proposed more of the same - secret, back room negotiations - rather than an open, transparent and collaborative process." ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.