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The Google Books Settlement

The best analysis I have read so far of the court’s decision on the Google Books Settlement is from Barbara Fister:

  • March Madness: Judge Denny Chin Rejects the Google Settement, by Barbara Fister, Inside Higher Ed (March 23, 2011)

    …The judge also gave a nod toward the Department of Justice’s complaint that the class action took what was a copyright complaint and turned it into a proposal for a profitable and far-reaching business endeavor. The Google project would cease being a search engine and instead become a retail platform; not a virtual library, but a bookstore, selling books that could not legally be bought from any other vendor

    …Thanks to the continual erosion of the public domain through repeated copyright extensions, we’ve made a large portion of our cultural history virtually inaccessible. Congress, which is constitutionally authorized to make copyright decisions, has failed to make reasonable arrangements to let those books be used to “promote the progress of science and useful arts.”

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