IDG News Service - A proposed agreement drafted by Google, authors and publishers to settle their years-long copyright litigation has been rejected, a major setback to Google's ambitious plans to build a massive marketplace and library for digital books.
"The question presented is whether the [proposed settlement] is fair, adequate, and reasonable. I conclude that it is not," wrote Judge Denny Chin from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in a 48-page ruling. "While the digitization of books and the creation of a universal digital library would benefit many, the [proposed settlement] would simply go too far."
The settlement would grant Google "significant rights to exploit entire books, without permission from copyright owners. Indeed, the [settlement] would grant Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission, while releasing claims well beyond those presented in the case," Judge Chin wrote.
The judge suggested that the proposal, which has already been revised once, would be more palatable from a legal standpoint if it's switched from an "opt out" to an "opt in" settlement. He also acknowledged that, at least in concept, the creation of "a universal digital library" would be beneficial to many people and organizations.
Google finds the decision "clearly disappointing" and will review its options, Hilary Ware, a Google managing counsel, said in a statement.
"Like many others, we believe this agreement has the potential to open up access to millions of books that are currently hard to find in the U.S. today. Regardless of the outcome, we'll continue to work to make more of the world's books discoverable online through Google Books and Google eBooks," she said.
The legal fight began in 2005, when the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers filed separate class-action lawsuits objecting to Google's practice of digitizing library books without always getting permission from copyright owners.
The lawsuits alleged massive copyright infringement on Google's part by scanning, storing and indexing these copyright books without authorization and making their full text searchable on the Google Books search engine.
Google argued in its defense that its practice was protected under the fair use principle because for the books in question, it only displayed brief text snippets of their content.
That litigation dragged on until October 2008 when Google and the plaintiffs surprisingly reached an agreement to settle the matter and hammered out an extremely complex proposal that soon became the target of both praise and criticism.
That settlement proposal called for Google to pay US$125 million and in exchange obtain from the plaintiffs rights to display longer portions of in-copyright books.
- The 20 Best iPhone/iPad Games of 2013 So Far
- 9 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand (and Your Career)
- 7 Consumer Technologies Coming to an Enterprise Near You
- 11 Signs Your IT Project is Doomed
- A walking tour: 33 questions to ask about your company's security
- 15 social media scams
- The 7 elements of a successful security awareness program
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Federal IT Innovation Caught in a Catch-22
- Fed resources shoring up old infrastructure, holding back new technologies.
- Harness IT -- An Introduction to Business Intelligence Solutions
- Learn the key selection criteria required to provide your organization with the capability to address structured data, unstructured data and mobile demands so...
- Business Intelligence Shows its Smarts
- Today's Business Intelligence (BI) tools provide a new way to think about data with self-service capabilities and user-friendly analytics that can be used...
- Proactive Planning for Big Data
- Big data is less about the terabytes and more about the query tools and business intelligence needed to make sense of massive amounts...
- Inquiry Spotlight: Consumer-Facing Identity
- The challenges of consumer-facing identity management, access management, and authentication differ in ways subtle and dramatic from those of the employee-facing variety. All Government IT White Papers
- Becoming An Analytics Driven Organization
- Join us on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT and learn how your agency can create an analytics culture that will enable...
- 3 Reasons Why Sepaton is the World's Fastest Backup Solution
- Leading analyst, Storage Switzerland learns how Sepaton backs up and deduplicates massive data volumes while maintaining the industry's fastest performance - all in...
- Enterprise File Sharing: All You Need to Know
- Security. Scalability. Control. These are just some of the many benefits of enterprise cloud file-sharing that you'll discover in this KnowledgeVault, packed with...
- Bridging HTTP and FTP with FileXpress Internet Server
- What if you could take an FTP server on your internal network, and allow external users (partners or customers) to securely access it...
- MFT and FileXpress - An Overview
- Business users and applications exchange files on a regular basis. File transfer is a core part of the flow of business activity. All Government IT Webcasts