Wednesday, April 29, 2009

US Justice Department to review GBS

The NYT reports that the US Justice Department has begun an inquiry into the antitrust implications of Google’s’s Book Search settlement with authors and publishers. It is reported that Justice Department lawyers have notified Google, and representatives for the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild, that they are looking into various antitrust issues related to the far-reaching agreement.

This does not mean that the settlement will be opposed by the Justice Department, but that critics concerns over the ‘exclusive rights’ that would be granted to Google to millions of orphan works under the settlement, have forced this review.

As we reported yesterday, Judge Denny Chin of Federal District Court in New York, who is overseeing the settlement, postponed the deadline four months to enable authors to opt out of the settlement and for other parties to oppose it or file briefs.

Last year the Justice Department’s threat to block the proposed Google Yahoo advertising partnership forced it to be abandoned.

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