Monday, April 27, 2009

Movements on the Google Books Front

As the (current) 5 May deadline for the filing of objections and comments on the Google Books settlement approaches, some movement:

- The judge charged with overseeing (and potentially improving) the settlement has rejected the Internet Archive's attempt to intervene in the suit. Publisher's Weekly reports: "The IA had said it does not want to file an amicus brief, also known as a friend of the court brief, as other parties said they intend to do, and it believes 'there are no existing parties in the case that could adequately represent the Archive’s interests, or the interest of other Internet content providers.' Now that the court has denied the IA's intervention request, it is looking at a number of different alternatives, including filing an amicus brief. The IA wants to remove orphan works from the settlement and limited the settlement to rightsholders who have filed a claim."

- A group of authors and the estates of others (including John Steinbeck and Arlo Guthrie) are asking the judge to delay the deadline for opt-out by four months. "The group of authors seeking the delay has not come out against the settlement. The members argue that, given the complexity of the agreement and its long-range implications, the May 5 deadline should be extended by four months to allow authors to make informed decisions about how to proceed." Google, the Author’s Guild and the Association of American Publishers have also asked for an extension of the opt-out period, but they only want an additional two months.

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