Google book settlement delayed, DoJ has antitrust concerns

28 04 2009

Late last year, Google announced that it had reached a settlement with several major publishers that would end their copyright lawsuit against the Google Books service. The settlement would put in place an agreement between Google and existing copyright holders, and give the search giant rights to out-of-print and orphaned works—those for which the copyright holder cannot be identified. Despite the complexity of the settlement, it was on a fast track to approval, with a final thumbs-up scheduled for May. Now, it looks like a delay in the decision is inevitable as opposition to it seems to be rising and the Department of Justice looking into the antitrust implications of the deal.

A portion of the objections come from within the publishing community itself, where a small collection of authors and copyright holders have requested four more months to evaluate the proposed settlement before deciding whether to sign on to it. Google countered with an offer of a two-month delay. The judge ultimately approved a four-month extension.

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