Justice Department Probes Google Book Search Settlement
If the settlement is approved, it would resolve a lawsuit filed by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers in 2005, alleging that Google infringed copyright by digitizing books. The settlement agreement, filed with the court in October, calls for Google to fund a new book rights registry and allows the company to digitize books and sell downloads at prices it sets with the registry.
Some critics have questioned whether the settlement would give Google an unfair advantage over other potential publishers -- especially when it comes to "orphan works," or material under copyright, but whose owners can't be found. The deal would allow Google to publish such works without fear of liability for copyright infringement. Several outside organizations, including New York Law School, had questioned whether those terms raised antitrust issues.
Also Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin in New York postponed a hearing in the case from June 11 to Oct. 7. Chin also said that authors and publishers now have until Sept. 4 to opt out of the settlement, moved back from May 5.--Wendy Davis