Google Updates Google Book Search After Apple iPad Launch

Less than 24 hours after Apple announces the Apple iPad, Google announces improvements to the Google Books home page. The improvements include: You can now scroll through categories of books and magazines The My Library feature is now on the home page My Library selections can be kept private now You can now add one or more books to more bookshelves. [...]

Science Fiction Writer Le Guin Launches Petition Against Google Book Settlement As Opt-Out Deadline Looms

Renowned science fiction and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin has launched a petition to "exempt" the US (US authors) from the terms of the Google Book Search Settlement. The text of the petition says that "Ireland, India, South Africa, and New Zealand (countries with active publication in English) protested the settlement and have been exempted from it." Exempting the US would essentially render the settlement meaningless. The scope of the revised settlement has been narrowed to include only the US, UK, Australia and Canada and exclude other countries. There is a January 28 deadline (Th [...]

Google Book Scanning Faces Chinese Challenges

Google issued an apology to Chinese authors, according to China Daily, for scanning their books without permission. Google has also been sued in China for copyright infringement in connection with unauthorized book scanning. Meanwhile the amended US Book Scanning litigation settlement still awaits final court approval. There are several private Chinese groups that seek apologies and compensation from Google for scanned Chinese books. Google is meeting with these groups, representing Chinese authors, to try and clear the way for more scanning of Chinese works. The China Daily article quot [...]

Arrêtez Google!: EU Reportedly Developing Joint Alternative To Book Project

According to Reuters, French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said the European Union intends to develop a plan to offer a public and pan-European alternative to Google's book scanning project. The French, among others, filed formal objections and opposition to the Google Book Search settlement with the court in New York this past September. An amended settlement was announced by Google and the other parties and given preliminary approval on November 19, 2009. Danny blogged the press conference associated with the announcement of the amended settlement agreement, which sought to address [...]

Google, Book Search Partners Ask For Four More Days

Today is the deadline for Google and its partners in the Google Book Search settlement to submit a new version of the settlement that satisfies the recent concerns laid out by the US Justice Department and others. But instead, as the New York Times reports, they've asked federal judge Denny Chin for an extension until this Friday, Nov. 13. In their extension request, Google and the settlement parties say they met with the DOJ as recently as this past Friday, Nov. 6. Assuming the request is granted, and the revised settlement is filed by Friday, it's possible a final hearing could still h [...]

Brin Defends Book Search Settlement; Google & Plaintiffs Get One Month To Revise It

The clock is ticking: Google and the parties involved in the Book Search lawsuit settlement have one month from today -- until November 9 -- to revise the settlement and satisfy the recent objections from the US Justice Department and others. That may seem like an ambitious timeframe given the amount of objections the settlement has received. It also suggests that Google and the parties involved involved don't think dramatic changes are needed to make everyone happy. In a New York Times article this week, Paul Aiken of the Authors Guild -- one of the parties that originally sued Google -- s [...]

Google Book Search Settlement: What Will Happen Now?

Judge Denny Chin of the US District Court, who is presiding over the Google Book Search Settlement and was prepared to approve it until legions of opponents came forward, summarizes the dilemma facing all interested parties in his recent order (via the NY Times), taking the impending October 7 final settlement hearing off the calendar: The current settlement agreement raises significant issues, as demonstrated not only by the number of objections, but also by the fact that the objectors include countries, states, nonprofit organizations, and prominent authors and law professors. Clearly, fair [...]

Google Requests Hold On Book Settlement Hearings To Retool The Agreement

In the wake of last Friday's objections to the Google Book lawsuit settlement, Google along with the two other parties that sued it, have asked the judge to delay further hearings on the settlement until an amended one can be put forth. Google, Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, made this request today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. A copy of the request is here. For more background on the case, see our post from Friday: Department Of Justice Files Objections To Google Book Search Settlement. [...]

Department Of Justice Files Objections To Google Book Search Settlement

As expected, the US Department Of Justice today has filed a list of objections and modifications it would like seen made in the proposed settlement to the Google Book Search lawsuit. It's not saying that the settlement should go back to square one. In fact, it suggests that "momentum" potentially could be lost to improve access to books if that happened. But it does want the settlement modified, in particular to protect absent rights holders of "orphan works" and to solve anti-trust concerns. You'll find a copy here (PDF) at the Public Index. The New York Times has a summary up here. Gary P [...]

DOJ To Drop Hammer On Google Book Search Settlement?

Friday could be an important day in the ongoing battle over the Google Book Search settlement. According to the Wall Street Journal, the US Department of Justice is expected to announce its concerns over the proposed $125 million settlement of the lawsuit over Google's scanning of copyrighted books and making them available online. The DOJ formally announced its investigation in July, citing anti-trust concerns and the general competitive impact of the settlement. The Wall Street Journal outlines one of the DOJ's expected arguments from tomorrow's filing: "...the Justice Department is [...]

Google’s Schmidt To Book Settlement Critics: What’s Your Solution?

As the proposed Google Book Search lawsuit settlement is debated, I've read calls from various critics that everything should go back to "square one" for a solution. Would Google be willing to do this? Google CEO Eric Schmidt says he's open to ideas, but none of the critics are putting forward new solutions that would resolve the legal case that was filed against his company. "I'm open to a better solution. You will recall, we had our solution, and we were sued over it. And we then had a-god-knows-how-many years of negotiations with 27 parties, and we've actually produced a deal," Sc [...]

Google Books Settlement: Is The Open Book Alliance Trying To Get Something For Nothing?

The legal briefs were flying fast and furiously as all the interest groups, supporters and competitors rushed to meet a deadline for third parties to weigh in on the Google Book Search settlement. The NY Times quotes legal scholars who argue that the "quality" and volume of the filings in the case will make it challenging for the judge to quickly resolve the matter. In some respects this is a "novel" situation in which a great deal is at stake for the involved parties and book publishing more broadly. A settlement hearing is scheduled for October 7. Scores of companies, interest groups a [...]

Google Gives Some Ground In Books Row, France Moves To Protect “Orphans”

Google reportedly made a number of concessions to European officials concerned about the European implications of the Google Books Search settlement deal. The company is fighting on both sides of the Atlantic to gain regulatory and judicial acceptance of the deal previously announced, which has been criticized by a number of self-interested parties and legal observers who contend that Google will have a near monopoly of so-called "orphan" books if the deal goes through. Orphan books are those that are still covered by copyright but rights ownership is uncertain or authors cannot be located. [...]

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 establis [...]

Microsoft, Yahoo, & Amazon Will Fight Google Book Settlement

There are several reports (see New York Times and Wall Street Journal) that Microsoft, Yahoo, and Amazon will join a coalition aimed at challenging the Google book settlement. Peter Brantley, director of the Internet Archive, which is putting the coalition together, tells the Wall Street Journal that coalition members want the agreement revised, but aren't necessarily pushing to have it blocked. The settlement stems from a lawsuit that claimed Google's practice of scanning books and making them available online violated the copyrights of authors and publishers. Google settled the lawsuit [...]

French Upset Over Google Library Deal, Lawyer-Author Files New Arguments Against Book Search Settlement

It's probably fair to say that the French have a love-hate relationship with American culture, companies and institutions. (The same could be said for some Americans; remember "freedom fries"?) The latest expression of the negative side of that equation in the Gallic world is disappointment over an apparently impending agreement between the French national library and Google to allow the latter to scan its books. The UK's Times Online has the story of what one french journalist described as a movement by the library from "resistance to collaboration": The Bibliothèque Nationale de France (B [...]

US Justice Dept. Formally Confirms Google Books Inquiry

It's not really a surprise or even news that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed yesterday it was formally investigating the terms of the Google Book Search settlement. This was known as far back as April and essentially confirmed last month by various publications reporting that formal requests (called "civil investigative demands") had been issued to book publishers by the DOJ. What happened yesterday was that the DOJ provided procedural notification to the court that the US is exploring the potential anti-trust dimensions of the Google settlement. The so-called "fairness hearing [...]

Google Book Search Lawsuit Gets Conference Treatment

New York Law School will host a three-day conference about the Google Book Search lawsuit starting on October 8 -- one day after the rescheduled fairness hearing that may decide the case's future. You may recall that the judge in the case has already given tentative approval to the $125 million settlement, but about six weeks before the official approval was due, the judge announced a four-month delay so that interested parties could review the proposed settlement. The conference, called "D is for Digitize," will include interested parties from publishing and academia who "will exami [...]

Google Book Search Now With Cloud Tag

The Google Book Search Blog announced a neat new feature that allows you to peek into the book via what is known as a cloud tag. The cloud tag shows you the most common terms and phrases used in the book, with the bigger the terms, the more that term is used in the book. For example, let's take a look at Search Engine Optimization for Dummies. If you scroll down to the "Common Terms and Phrases" section, you will notice this cloud tag: If you click on any of the terms in the cloud, you will be taken to a page that highlights where in the book the terms show up: Interesting t [...]

Google Book Search Adds Seven New Features

Today, Brandon Badger, Product Manager, Google Books, announced on the Inside Google Book Search Blog, seven, that’s right seven, new features and tools for Google Book Search users. Here’s a quick look at what has just gone live. First, Google has made it easier, just click and copy, to embed "preview" material onto a web page. Just click, highlight the desired text, grab the URL, and paste it where you see fit. This feature is available with full view and partner books. It’s very similar to what you can do with YouTube content. Users can also easily copy and paste the URL into an [...]

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