Thursday, March 24, 2011

Google Book Settlement Rejected

In NCAA Tournament-style, Judge Denny Chin rejected (think Gus Johnson "REEEEE-JECTEEEEED") the Google Book Settlement that would compensate publishers and authors for the digitization of books that Google has been working on since the mid-2000s (note: oversimplification). You can read the background of the suit here. A break down of the federal judge's decision along with the actual filing can be found here. Why let me it poorly when you can read it for yourself. Geez, I can't do everything for you.

Based on what I read, it doesn't seem that this decision by Judge Chin will in any way seriously block the progress Google has made with this project. The settlement will be tweaked and with any luck this situation will be put to bed soon. Google Books will become a great asset and resource. As Roy Blount, Jr. said in October 2008 when he was president of the Author's Guild:

"Readers are also big winners under the settlement of Authors Guild v. Google. Readers will be able to browse from their own computers an enormous collection of books...Readers wanting to view books online in their entirety for free need only reacquaint themselves with their participating local public library: every public library building is entitled to a free, view-only license to the collection. College students working on term papers will be able to point their computers to resources other than Wikipedia, if they’re so inclined: students at subscribing institutions will be able to read and print out any books in the collection."

I'm interested to see how quickly the parties to this lawsuit and settlement can respond to Judge Chin's decision and get this project back on track.