With a May 5 deadline for filing objections to the Google books settlement looming, opposition to and criticism of the settlement continues to cement.
I recently wrote about concerns among copyright and antitrust scholars and others that the settlement would grant Google a monopoly over millions of so-called orphan books, which are out of print and whose rights holders are unknown or cannot be found. I later gave more details of where the opposition was coming from.
Now some of the opposition is starting to jell. The Internet Archive, which is currently working to match Google’s effort to digitize millions of books from major libraries, has filed a motion to intervene in the case. The Internet Archive argues that the settlement gives Google — and Google alone — immunity from liability for copyright infringement for scanning and displaying orphan books. Without similar immunity, “the Archive would be unable to provide some of these same services due to the uncertain legal issues surrounding orphan books.” The filing notes that the parties in the suit — Google, the Authors Guild and major publishers — plan to oppose the Archive’s proposed intervention.
Full piece here.