Google wants to create the world’s largest digital library by digitalizing every book every published and making them widely available.
Don’t be so eager to see the latest copy of John Grisham online just yet though.
Denny Chin, a New York federal judge, rejected a $125 million legal settlement between Google and a group of authors and publishers. Judge Chin found that this settlement would grant Google a “de factor monopoly” over the right to profit from books without the permission of copyright owners.
Does this mean an online library is out of the question? Not necessarily.
The proposed settlement was deemed not “fair, adequate, and reasonable” but left open the possibility that settlement on other terms might be.
Rejection of the settlement agreement comes as a big blow to Google, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, the latter two of which just only a few years ago, were suing Google for copyright infringement. This settlement agreement would not only have brought millions of books into the digital age but would also have helped bring enormous revenues to authors and publishers by opening a new stream of revenue.
Google has already scanned over 15 million books, the entire text of which can be found through Google’s Book Search service. Want to know if a digital library is coming near you? There may be hope in the near future as both parties agreed that the court ruling provided “clear guidance” on the changes necessary for the settlement to be approved. Stay tuned for more.