Simpsons Solicitors

Google Books Amended Settlement Agreement rejected

May 4th 2011

Judge Denny Chin released his decision rejecting the Amended Settlement Agreement (ASA) which was filed back in November 2009, involving Google Inc. and the various author groups that took action against Google for the scanning and display of “snippets” of their copyright works. While Judge Chin acknowledged that “the creation of a universal digital library would benefit many,” he concluded that the proposed agreement was “not fair, adequate and reasonable” (at page 1).

Citing antitrust, copyright and other issues the judge said that, “the ASA would give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission, while releasing claims well beyond those presented in the case” (at page 2).

The decision still leaves open the possibility of a revised settlement. In the judgment, Judge Denny Chin encourages the parties to consider a revision, saying, “Many of the concerns raised in the objections would be ameliorated if the ASA were converted from an “opt-out” settlement to an “opt-in” settlement” (at page 46).

To read the full decision, see:

http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/cases/show.php?db=special&id=115

For more information about this announcement, please see: http://www.copyright.org.au/news-and-policy/details/id/1905/

For inquiries relating to copyright law please contact copyright lawyer Adam Simpson.