DOJ confirms Google Books investigation

DOJ confirms Google Books investigation

Summary: Is the Justice Department actually investigating the Google Books deal? Yes, the department confirmed to the federal judge reviewing the class action settlement.

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Is the Justice Department actually investigating the Google Books deal?

Yes, the department confirmed to the federal judge reviewing the class action settlement. It is looking into whether the deal violate the Sherman Antitrust Act, The New York Times reports. In a letter to the judge, William Cavanaugh, a deputy assistant attorney general, said:

At this preliminary stage, the United States has reached no conclusions as to the merit of those concerns or more broadly what impact this settlement may have on competition. However, we have determined that the issues raised by the proposed settlement warrant further inquiry.

Is this a serious development? Oh, yeah. Antitrust lawyer Gary Reback told the Times:

This is the next step in the notion that this is a serious issue, so serious that the Justice Department needs to notify the court. It sets the stage for the department to come into the court to present a problem.

The Internet Archive, which has been leading the charge against the settlement, chiefly on the grounds that it gives Google an exclusive right to publish so-called orphan works, without fear of litigation, is "heartened" by the news, Peter Brantley, the director of access for the Internet Archive, said.

Topics: Legal, Enterprise Software, Google

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5 comments
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  • Can't Beat 'Em?

    Report them to the Department of Justice!
    fewiii
    • Why Not? It worked for all of Microsoft's Competitors! NT

      .
      AboveAverageJoe
  • Why should Google have exclusive rights?

    Exclusive rights to publish the books online, and to profit from them?

    If they're ophaned, then everyone who wants to do the same should be allowed to do the same thing as Google.

    Why not ophaned pets next? Claim ownership to post photos online, force companies like Petfinder out of business, as Google owns the rights to publishing the animals bios online.
    AllKnowingAllSeeing
  • RE: DOJ confirms Google Books investigation

    You might not like the idea of Google offering book text for everyone, but look at what they're proposing to offer. These "orphan" books aren't wanted by anyone right now - or someone else would have snapped up the right long ago. They've mostly been taken out of print and are almost unavailable.

    And as for comparing books with pets - well "ha" ! If I lived in Ankh Morpork I might need leashes for my books, but I don't, so my books live peacefully on their shelves.
    LeMike
    • That's just wrong

      They are wanted, at least by orgs proposing to
      bring them into the public domain. But you
      CANNOT determine who owns the copyright, if
      anyone has any interest, etc.

      No one else has been able to take advantage
      because of the orphan problem. What Google
      proposes to offer is that it get an exclusive
      ability to use these books with no legal
      liability.
      rkoman@...