San Francisco – The proposed settlement between Google (NASD: GOOG) and
authors and publishers, which would set terms for the creation of Google’s
massive book-scanning project, is in violation of a number of international
laws and treaties, according to a report from the Open Book Alliance, a group
that opposes the deal and counts Google rivals Amazon (NASD: AMZN), Microsoft (NASD: MSFT) and Yahoo (NASD: YHOO)
among its members.
The group says the settlement would violate provisions of
the Berne Convention, because the "rights afforded to class members under
proposed Settlement are an inadequate substitution for the exclusive rights it
takes away," and "requires foreign rights holders to opt out to
preserve existing copyright protections."
The Open Book Alliance argues
that the settlement also violates the "principles of non-discrimination
enshrined in the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects
of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs)," because it gives certain more
favorable terms to nationals of the U.K.,
Canada and Australia not
bestowed on all countries.
The group posits that countries such as France and Germany — which have already lodged
formal oppositions to the proposed settlement — could stir trouble by filing a
formal claim before the WTO if it is approved in its current form.
settlement is currently awaiting a final judgment from U.S. District Judge