Preliminary Court Approval of Google Book Settlement; Final Approval Hearing Set

The Associate Press reported on Monday evening that the court has given preliminary approval to the settlement negotiated between Google and book authors and publishers over the use of copyrighted materials in the Google Book Search Library project. In giving preliminary approval, Judge John E. Sprizzo authorized the publication of the notice of settlement and set a final settlement fairness hearing for June 11, 2009.


The judge’s decision sets in motion a series of events over the next eight months:

Google Book Search Settlement: Public Access Service

One of the very relevant aspects of the Google Book Search Settlement Agreement to libraries is the provision that allows for free public access to the full text of books in public and academic libraries. The Notice of Settlement summary says: “Google will provide, on request, ‘Public Access’ licenses for free through a dedicated computer terminal at each public library building and through an agreed number of dedicated computer terminals at non-profit higher educational institutions located in the United States.” (Notice; Q9(F)(1)(c); p. 18) The details beyond the summary are quite a bit more interesting and, of course, have tidbits of useful information that isn’t in the summary.

Is OCLC’s Change of WorldCat Record Use/Transfer Policy Related to the Google Book Search Agreement?


On the Code4Lib IRC channel Thursday afternoon, Roy Tennant, Senior Program Officer at OCLC Programs and Research, said that there is absolutely no connection between the policy change and the Google Book Search settlement.

The Original Post

Google Book Search Settlement: Reviewing the Notice of Settlement

Beyond the public pronouncements of the Google Books Settlement1 are the documents that form the meat of the agreement. The full text of the proposed settlement agreement is 141 pages plus another 162 pages of appendices. The Proposed Notice of Class Action Settlement itself — a summary of the complete settlement — is 38 pages, and is what is reviewed in this post. (The proposed settlement agreement may be covered in a future post.) The Notice of Settlement is chock full of interesting nuggets and hints of even more interesting things in the complete summary agreement. Even the printed version of the summary posted here is about 10 pages long.

Google Book Search Settlement: Introduction, Public Announcements

Announced today was a settlement between Google and the plaintiffs — the Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers and individual authors and publishers — in the class action lawsuit about materials scanned for the Google Book Search application through the Google Book Search Library Project. This posting on DLTJ includes a brief summary of the agreement and links to the primary source public announcements and documents. Subsequent postings to DLTJ will include analysis and commentary on the agreement.

Two Lectures on Copyright and Fair Use Today

Spotted in the Chronicle of Higher Education Online this morning is mention of two lectures by Wendy Seltzer that will happen today on the topic of copyright and fair-use doctrine. Here are the summaries and hCalendar events (the latter being useful if your browser and/or RSS reader understands the hCalendar microformat markup). Long-time readers of DLTJ might remember Professor Seltzer’s battle with the NFL over the overly broad statement about use of telecasts by posting a 33-second clip the SuperBowl on YouTube, which, at the moment, is still online.

Demonstrating the Mouse’s Absurd Copyright Practices by Using the Mouse’s Work

Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University demonstrates principles of fair use to give an overview of U.S. copyright principles in A Fair(y) Use Tale — a 10-minute video in five acts. Using clips from dozens of Disney films, Faden gives the historical perspective and underlying principles for copyright law in the United States. This is a great conversation starter for discussions about changing copyright — not only for its content, but also for its use of media from the very corporate interest that has had a big hand in the ongoing march towards indefinite copy rights. Wired Magazine’s blog also has a commentary on the video.

Fair Use Versus the NFL with YouTube Caught in the Middle

Here is something to keep an eye on. Via the Chronicle of Higher Education, Wendy Seltzer, a visiting assistant professor at Brooklyn Law School and Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, is demonstrating the concept of fair use to her class by going head-to-head with the National Football League. Specifically, she posted a 30 second video snippet of the NFL’s standard copyright statement to YouTube on February 8th and waited to see what would happen.