America

Judge Rejects Book-Scanning Deal Between Google And Publishers, Authors

A federal judge in New York has rejected a $125 million settlement between Google and lawyers for authors and publishers. The settlement was supposed to allow Google to continue with its ambitious plan to digitize books and create the world's biggest digital library with the blessing of authors and publishers.

The San Jose Mercury News' Silicon Valley reports:

The settlement would have created a plan for compensating copyright holders. But the judge ruled that it is not fair or adequate.

"While the digitization of books and the creation of a universal digital library would benefit many," the judge wrote in a 48-page ruling filed Tuesday, the settlement "would simply go too far."

The settlement stemmed from a lawsuit brought on in 2005 by the Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers, which argued that Google's plans to digitize books and provide snipets online violated copyrights on a massive scale.

The settlement, reports Bloomberg, would have created a "Book Rights Registry to compensate copyright holders."

Bloomberg also reports that authors in New Zealand, Italy, Austria and other countries were against the settlement, because they claimed it violated international copyright law.

The AP has a bit more on U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin's ruling:

Chin said the deal gives Goggle "a significant advantage over competitors."

He said it would be "rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission, while releasing claims well beyond those presented in the case."

Update at 6:38 p.m. ET: Google has just sent over a statement from Managing Counsel Hilary Ware:

"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."

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