Open Book Alliance Statement in Response to Judge Chin’s Rejection of the Google Book Settlement
SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The New York Federal District Court’s rejection of the Google Book Settlement is a victory for the public interest and for competition in the literary and Internet ecosystems. The U.S. Department of Justice and the State Attorneys General who fought to protect consumers and competition should be applauded. Judge Denny Chin’s reasoned and thoughtful analysis was worth the wait.
In his decision, Judge Chin confirmed that the proposed settlement “would give Google a de facto monopoly over unclaimed works” and concluded that the proposed settlement “is not fair, adequate, and reasonable.”
In his conclusion, Judge Chin gave voice to the authors and creators who have long opposed this proposed settlement by urging the parties to consider revising the settlement to an “opt-in” structure. While opt-in is a preferred structure, the Open Book Alliance (OBA) believes it requires complex changes to the proposed settlement and would not address the severe antitrust and privacy problems that the court describes in the decision.
“The ruling ratifies the objections of a diverse cross-section of voices who stood up to Google and its partners – from the Justice Department and State Attorneys General to authors and independent publishers to consumer and privacy advocates and members of the academic and library communities,” said Gary Reback, Counsel to the OBA. “We urge the Justice Department to remain vigilant and continue in its role as a leader in protecting consumers and competition from an entrenched monopoly in online search.”
The Open Book Alliance looks forward to participating in a collaborative process that will focus on developing an open digital public library created to serve the public interest that respects the rights of creators while promoting innovation and competition.
About The Open Book Alliance
The mass digitization of books promises to bring tremendous value to consumers, libraries, scholars, and students. The Open Book Alliance works to advance and protect this promise. And, by protecting it, the Open Book Alliance asserts that any mass book digitization and publishing effort be open and competitive. The process of achieving this promise must be undertaken in the open, grounded in sound public policy and mindful of the need to promote long-term benefits for consumers rather than isolated commercial interests.
The Open Book Alliance counters Google, the Association of American Publishers and the Authors’ Guild’s scheme to monopolize the access, distribution and pricing of the largest digital database of books in the world. To this end, the Open Book Alliance promotes fair and flexible solutions aimed at achieving a more robust and open system.
Members of the Open Book Alliance include Amazon.com, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, Internet Archive, Microsoft, National Writers Union, New York Library Association, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Small Press Distribution, Special Libraries Association and Yahoo!.
SOURCE Open Book Alliance