Responding to U.S. Department of Justice Statement of Interest Regarding Google Books Settlement

The Open Book Alliance today issued the following statement in response to the Department of Justice’s filing with the U.S. District Court:
The Open Book Alliance applauds the action taken today by the Department of Justice.  We believe that the DoJ’s Statement of Interest regarding the Google Books Settlement will help to preserve competition, promote innovation and protect the public interest.

The Department of Justice has made it crystal clear that the proposal before the court is overreaching and cannot be approved: “… the United States has reluctantly concluded that use of the class action mechanism in the manner proposed by the ASA is a bridge too far.”

We are particularly heartened that the Government identified the anti-competitive consequences this proposal would have on digital book sales and the search market, concerns that were voiced by the Open Book Alliance and its members.  The brief addressed the “exclusive access” Google would have been awarded by the settlement while also noting that, “This outcome has not been achieved by a technological advance in search or by operation of normal market forces; rather, it is the direct product of scanning millions of books without the copyright holders’ consent.”

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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