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Google defends settlement with Author's Guild

updated 06:00 pm EST, Fri February 12, 2010

Google makes arguments for amended settlement

Google on Thursday said its amended settlement agreement to launch a digital book store complies with the law, despite the Justice Department recently suggesting it still potentially violates antitrust and copyright laws. According to a Friday report, Google says there is only one exception the Justice Department has issue with. This has to do with taking books out of the project at the request of the authors, but if these authors could be found, there would be no need for the amended settlement agreement, Google says.

Google also argues that its attempts do not harm libraries and does not keep other groups from digitizing the books in question. The agreement, Google says, will let any party access millions of out-of-print books, which is what antitrust laws were designed to encourage.

As for the Justice Department's argument of Google using the class action mechanism to implement future business arrangements, no specific precedents of such an action were listed. Also, as the books in question are no longer in print, no authors or rights holders are hurt by the digitizing of their works.

But these new arguments are being ignored Open Book Alliance that includes Google's corporate rivals Amazon and Microsoft, libraries, writers' groups and competing book digitizers. They argue that Google would have exclusive access to books it has 'illegally' scanned.

The class action case will go in front of US District Judge Denny Chin on February 18th before it can go into effect.

by MacNN Staff



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