Google’s Friends Running for the Hills

The news that Google’s partners in the ill-fated Google Book Settlement at the Authors Guild have recently filed a lawsuit against HathiTrust, the consortium of university libraries that has received book scans from Google, is just one more sign of the unraveling deal.  In light of the expected demise of the GBS, it appears that the Authors Guild is doubling down on the suit against Google that kicked this entire process off years ago.  As the complaint states, “by digitizing, archiving, copying and now publishing the copyrighted works without the authorization of those works’ rights holders, the universities are engaging in one of the largest copyright infringements in history.”

As the GBS heads into what might be its final hearing tomorrow, Google’s friends are running for the hills.  As we said earlier this week, Google’s cool factor creates a moth-to-the-flame effect where people may initially be attracted, but end up getting burned.  It’s been clear to outside observers for some time that Google is all about Google – Google’s book scanning project, despite protests to the contrary, is about making Google money.  While the Authors Guild may have been initially attracted to the idea of working with Google, it appears that they’ve realized that the light that they were attracted to is really a flame.

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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