The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) – comprised of the Association for Research Libraries (ARL), the American Library Association (ALA), and the Association for College & Research Libraries (ACRL) – announces the release of “A Guide for the Perplexed Part IV: The Rejection of the Google Books Settlement,” an analysis of the latest decision in the Google Books Search case and its potential effect on libraries.
This guide is the latest in a series prepared by LCA legal counsel Jonathan Band to help inform the library community about this landmark legal dispute.
In the Guide Part IV, Band explains why the Court rejected the proposed class action settlement, which would have allowed Google to engage in a wide variety of activities using scanned books.
As stated in the Guide, “The court concluded that the settlement was unfair because a substantial number of class members [i.e., authors and publishers] voiced significant concerns with the settlement.… However, the validity of the objections seemed less important to the court than the fact that many class members raised them.”
As for the impact of the decision on libraries, Band writes that while it is too early to say what the parties will do next, “it appears that both the challenges and the opportunities presented to libraries by the settlement when it was announced in the fall of 2008 are growing narrower and more distant.”
The full text of the Guide is available at http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/guideiv-final-1.pdf. Past Guides and other LCA materials related to the case are available at http://www.arl.org/pp/ppcopyright/google/index.shtml.