Google Fights Back Against Book Settlement Critics

Google (GOOG) filed a strong defense of its digital books settlement with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, a week before a federal judge is scheduled to hold a hearing in the protracted copyright case.

The filing is routine and reiterates arguments the search giant has repeatedly made to defend its 2008 settlement, which allows it to distribute millions of books it scanned online in exchange for sharing revenue with rights holders. It comes as briefs objecting to various parts of the agreement–which Google has already revised once–have continued to trickle in. Technology giants including Amazon.com (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and AT&T (T) have argued that the settlement could limit competition in the digital books market because it would give Google exclusive access to some works and usurps Congress’s authority over copyright law.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Justice Department again expressed concerns against the pact, saying the settlement reaches too broadly and “suffers from the same core problem as the original agreement: it is an attempt to use the class action mechanism to implement forward-looking business arrangements that go far beyond the dispute…in this litigation.”

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