Librarians’ Concerns Linger

On Tuesday, three national library associations sent a letter to the Department of Justice expressing their concern over Google’s pricing power should the GBS be approved.

In their opinion, entrusting a single entity with the exclusive rights to digitized books would, “make libraries particularly vulnerable to profit maximizing pricing.”

The group had previously expressed these concerns in a July 2009 letter, writing:

In the absence of competition for the services it will enable, the settlement could compromise fundamental library values such as equity of access to information, patron privacy, and intellectual freedom.

Tuesday’s letter reminds the DOJ that the revised settlement in no way solved this critical flaw.

Beyond the lack of competition codified by the GBS, the American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries and Association of Research Libraries continue to decry a lack of academic representatives on the proposed book registry.

Not surprisingly, they find it unacceptable that the folks who contribute “most of the books Google will scan and display” don’t get a say in overseeing this invaluable collection.

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What Experts Are Saying About the Settlement…

Important Dates

December 14, 2009
Notice begins

January 28, 2010
Deadline for authors to opt out of the settlement

January 28, 2010
Deadline to file objections and/or amicus briefs

February 4, 2010
Deadline to file notice of intent to appear at Fairness Hearing

February 4, 2010
DOJ response

February 11, 2010
Plaintiffs move for final approval

February 18, 2010
Final Fairness Hearing

March 31, 2011
Deadline to claim Books and Inserts