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Open Book Alliance rejects amended settlement agreement with Google

Posted: February 12, 2010 11:15 a.m.
Updated: February 12, 2010 11:45 a.m.
 
SAN FRANCISCO, PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Open Book Alliance yesterday issued the following statement in response to Google's Request for an Amended Google Books Settlement Approval:

The Open Book Alliance and many other objectors, including the U.S. Department of Justice, authors, publishers, academics, libraries and privacy advocates from around the world have collectively made the case for rejection of the amended settlement agreement proposed by Google, the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild.

Despite this broad chorus of opposition, Google has offered only cosmetic changes to its amended settlement.

The arguments it now offers to defend the amended settlement are the same arguments that have been rejected by the Department of Justice - twice.

Despite the spin from Google's attorneys, the amended settlement will still offer the search and online advertising giant exclusive access to books it has illegally scanned to the detriment of consumers, authors and competition.

Google's request also fails to answer concerns from consumer advocacy groups like the Institute for Information Law & Policy who fear that the amended settlement, if approved, would, "set a dangerous precedent for future cases and undermine democratic political processes."

We continue to wholeheartedly agree with the Department of Justice's recent characterization of the settlement as "a bridge too far."

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 are 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!.

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