The Google Book Settlement grinds on

Sherwin Siy has a post that helpfully updates us all on the latest twists and turns in Google’s attempts to license the entirety of printed publishing (or as close as it can get to that, anyway).

Late on Friday, a federal court in New York received a new version of the Google Book Search settlement. As with the old version, the new one was drafted jointly by Google and its erstwhile litigation opponents: the publishers and authors who sued Google for scanning their books without permission.

Substantively, the new settlement bears a great resemblance to the old one. There’s a large number of changes (which are conveniently marked up in a downloadable file available from the settlement site here), but while they chip away at some of the rough edges of the earlier proposed settlement, the core of our antitrust concerns seems to remain.

Why is this? Orphan works and the ability of other  players to license and sell works online remains the big issue.

That main concern is that Google should not be the sole entity able to license the display of orphan and unclaimed works.

Nothing in the new settlement agreement seems to change that dynamic.

Siy continues,, explaining that:

Sure, other outlets might be able to embed a sort of Google Book reader into their web pages and act as resellers of the Google database, but that doesn’t create actual competition, especially if it’s Google-controlled information and software at the back end. All that the reseller would be doing is providing different window dressing and customer support.

Bottom line:

In the end, it’s still just Google alone in that market, and that’s something that is a real cause for concern.

Elsewhere: The Googlization of Everything

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