ALA Task Force on proposed Google Book Search (GBS) settlement Community
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) today released a statement describing the key features copyright reform proposals should include in order to constitute significant improvement over current law for libraries and their users.
Interested parties are discussing with renewed vigor the issues of orphan works, mass digitization, and even modernization of Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act in the wake of the Google Books settlement rejection by Judge Denny Chin of the Southern District of New York. The LCA statement, which represents the needs of library stakeholders in these debates, provides helpful guideposts for these discussions.
Libraries have always advocated for reasonable copyright policy – in the courts as well as in the U.S. Congress. Library activities already benefit from broad, flexible protection under the fair use doctrine and related provisions in current law. The LCA’s statement describes the status quo for libraries as well as the policies that would constitute substantial legislative improvement to existing copyright law.
Library Copyright Alliance releases fourth guide to Google Books proposed settlement following judge’s decisionby Corey Williams (staff) on Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 11:43 am
For Immediate Release
April 1, 2011
Library Copyright Alliance releases fourth guide to Google Books proposed settlement following judge’s decision
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) announces the release of “A Guide for the Perplexed Part IV: The Rejection of the Google Books Settlement,” an analysis of the latest decision in the Google Books Search case and its potential effect on libraries. The LCA is comprised of the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).
This Guide is the latest in a series prepared by LCA legal counsel Jonathan Band to help inform the library community about this landmark legal dispute.
In the Guide Part IV, Band explains why the Court rejected the proposed class action settlement, which would have allowed Google to engage in a wide variety of activities using scanned books.
As stated in the Guide, “The court concluded that the settlement was unfair because a substantial number of class members [i.e., authors and publishers] voiced significant concerns with the settlement.… However, the validity of the objections seemed less important to the court than the fact that many class members raised them.”
As for the impact of the decision on libraries, Band writes that while it is too early to say what the parties will do next, “it appears that both the challenges and the opportunities presented to libraries by the settlement when it was announced in the fall of 2008 are growing narrower and more distant.”
Past Guides and other LCA materials related to the case are available on the LCA website.
For those of you attending the ACRL conference in Philadelphia I wanted to be sure you were aware a session has been added on the Google Book Search settlement decision (see below). I encourage you to please join us if you can! (I’d appreciate it and would love to have the Google Task Force represented!)
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Philadelphia Convention Center, Room 203A/B
Google Book Search: What Comes Next?
On March 22 Judge Chin, for the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, rejected the settlement among the parties in The Author’s Guild et al. v. Google Inc. Are you wondering what could happen next and what each path would mean for the library community? So are we! Join colleagues for informal conversation to share the latest news and analysis. Corey Williams, Associate Director of ALA's Washington Office, will be on hand to share her insights.
There will be much coverage, reaction, etc., to the Judge’s decision on the GBS settlement over the coming days and weeks. I’ve compiled a quick list of links to articles, blog posts, etc. – however this is in no way a complete list…please feel free to post links to ALA Connect.
"This is clearly disappointing, but we'll review the Court's decision and consider our options. 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 US 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."
- NYTimes (Miguel Helft) Judge Rejects Google’s Deal to Digitize Books http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/23/technology/23google.html?_r=1&ref=technology
- WSJ: Judge Rejects Google Books Settlement http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704461304576216923562033348.html?mod=WSJ_Tech_LEFTTopNews
- Kenny Crew’s Blog Post: Google Books: Copyright Settlement Rejected http://copyright.columbia.edu/copyright/2011/03/22/google-books-copyright-settlement-rejected/
- James Grimmelmann’s Blog: The Laboratorium http://laboratorium.net/archive/2011/03/22/inside_judge_chins_opinion
From Politico’s Morning Tech 3/23/11:
COPYRIGHT OFFICE PLEASED WITH GOOGLE BOOKS SETTLEMENT DECISION - "While we are still reviewing the details of the opinion, it seems to reflect the strong briefs filed by the Department of Justice and the testimony of former Register Marybeth Peters before the House Judiciary Committee," Maria Pallante said in a statement to POLITICO shortly after Judge Denny Chin rejected the settlement. "At the same time, although the proposed settlement went too far, many good ideas came from these authors and publishers working together with Google."
To that end, Pallante warned that the copyright world still has a lot to discuss "in terms of mass digitization of libraries, more efficient licensing systems and restored markets for out-of print books" and said this is a policy conversation "better suited to Congress than the courts."
OBA EXPECTS GOOGLE NOT TO GIVE UP - "I can't imagine Google abandoning their project," said Peter Brantley, a co-founder of the Open Book Alliance that opposed the settlement. "They've scanned a tremendous number of books, and no one has an interest in Google simply hitting the delete key. Google has created something of value. The issues raised by what Google is doing - digitizing and making available books for search and discovery - are back on the front burner. Do the publishers and authors want to force litigation to make an issue of this? Who is motivated to pursue a settlement and for what reason? And who might say let's just move on?"