We are in favor of building a digital library system that has many
winners, but the Google book settlement seems like a bridge
too far. We are sorry that it had to go this way, but the monopolistic aspects of the settlement do seem problematic.
New approaches are emerging that do not have central points of control and could help publishers, libraries, authors, and readers:
- orphan works legislation might now be possible that can help with opening the results of mass digitization efforts,
- libraries are buying ebooks and scanning older books to lend them to patrons, and
- libraries for the blind and dyslexic are expanding rapidly.
(The decision document can be seen at http://www.archive.org/stream/UsDistrictCourtNyDecisionAuthorsGuildV.Google/chin_asa_decision#page/n0/mode/2up)
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I read the decision. Preventing Google from steamrolling over copyright law seemed the only decision. The books they did scan and offered had rather confusing wording regarding use. The name Google alone would have scared enough unknowledgeable consumers from exercising fair rights of usage. That Google presented this grab as a benefit to the public is pretty outrageous.