Sunday, October 11, 2009

Update on Google Book Settlement

From NYLA:

The New York Library Association joined the Open Book Alliance (OBA), a coalition of organizations and companies seeking changes to the Google Book Settlement. NYLA supports efforts to making books more searchable, readable and downloadable, but believes the settlement was deeply flawed and benefited only a select few libraries who have signed their own deals with Google. For this reason, NYLA working with other members of the Open Book Alliance sought changes to the Google Book Settlement that would insure competitive pricing, improve access to all types of libraries and protect patron privacy. NYS Librarian Bernie Margolis also sent a letter to ALA voicing similar concerns with the deal.

The U.S. Dept. of Justice filed objections with Federal District Court Judge Denny Chin, who is overseeing the settlement case, that reflected many of the concerns raised by the Open Book Alliance. As a result of this outpouring of concern from author and library organizations, the U.S. and foreign governments, the parties to the Google Book Settlement are going back to the negotiating table to rework the deal.

Last week, the Federal Judge gave the parties until November 7th to address the concerns raised. Although it is good news that the original flawed deal is dead, the short time frame to revise the settlement and the lack of input from library representatives to the revision process is not a good sign. NYLA agrees with the Open Book Alliance that an issue of this magnitude should be dealt with in an open forum with the participation of all affected parties.

NYLA will continue to work with the Open Book Alliance and other groups to insure that any revised settlement addresses the concerns of the library community. Stay tuned!

Michael J. Borges
Executive Director
New York Library Association

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