Good and Bad in Google Book Search Settlement
Posted in: Legal, Privacy & Security at 27/03/2011 15:53
Yesterday's decision rejecting the proposed settlement in the Google Books case, Authors Guild v. Google, got a number of things right. For starters, as we wrote shortly after the decision was announced, we're glad that the court acknowledged the importance of the privacy concerns we helped to raise.
With respect to the class action analysis, the court correctly concluded that the settlement did not take account of the interests of all of the class members, such as academic authors. As UC Berkeley law professor (and EFF board member) Pamela Samuelson noted in a letter quoted by in the decision,
Google Books Decision: "The Privacy Concerns are Real"
A federal district court in New York today issued a long-awaited ruling in the Google Books case, Authors Guild v. Google, rejecting the proposed settlement between the parties.
EFF participated in the case as counsel to a collection of authors and publishers, including Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem and Cory Doctorow, who objected to the settlement based on concerns about reader privacy. EFF worked with the ACLU and the Samuelson Clinic at University of California at Berkeley on the objection.
Judge Chin shoves the Google settlement toward sanity
The Google book settlement has been grinding through the courts since the Authors' Guild and Association of American Publishers (AAP) sued them in a class action in 2005, and they came to a tentative settlement in 2008. Yesterday Judge Denny Chin once again rejected the proposed settlement, with a strong hint about how to fix it. Fortunately for the American public, Judge Chin is an excellent judge with a deep understanding of the issues, and his opinion makes it clear what all the problems with the proposed settlement are.