New York – A federal judge has rejected the proposed $125
million settlement between Google (NASD: GOOG) and authors and publishers over its plan to
digitize millions of books and make them searchable online. The settlement as
it stands now, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin wrote in his opinion, "would
give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engaging
in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission, while releasing
claims well beyond those presented in the case."
Groups including the
Authors Guild sued Google in 2005, alleging among other things that the company was infringing
copyrights by scanning works without first obtaining rightsholders’
Judge Chin noted in his opinion that, "many of the concerns raised in the
objections would be ameliorated if the [settlement] were converted from an
opt-out to an opt-in settlement."
Google said it is reviewing the decision
and considering its options.
"This is clearly disappointing," the
company told PaidContent. "Like many others, we believe this agreement has
the potential to open-up access to millions of books that are currently hard to
find in the US today."