Germany Challenges Google Book Settlement

Germany has joined the growing chorus of people, groups, and even nations that are against the proposed settlement of a lawsuit over Google’s scanning of copyrighted books and making them available online.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the German government filed its opposition on Monday. The full filing appears to be available on

In its filing, Germany says the proposed settlement will give Google “an unfair advantage over all other digital libraries (commercial and non-commercial) in the United States and Germany” and “will flout German laws that have been established to protect German authors and publishers” where digital copying and publishing is concerned.

A sticking point appears to be the availability of the scanned books in Germany. Germany says it will be easy for German searchers to use Google Book Search. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Google claims that “only U.S. readers will benefit” from the settlement.

The German filing also points out that the settlement allows Google to scan books by German authors, even though most German authors are not represented in the ongoing court case. The Authors Guild, plaintiffs in the original lawsuit, limits membership to authors who have been published by a U.S. publisher.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Book Search | Google: Legal


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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