Judge Rejects Google Books Settlement

A federal judge in Manhattan on Tuesday rejected Google Inc.’s settlement with authors and publishers that would allow it to make millions of books available online, saying it would give the Internet giant the ability to “exploit” books without the permission of copyright owners.

In a 48-page decision, Denny Chin, a judge on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, denied the 2008 settlement between Google, authors and publishers “without prejudice,” meaning they could submit a revised pact that would better protect copyright owners. The judge also suggested a potential solution.

“While the digitization of books and the creation of a universal digital library would benefit many,” Google’s current pact would “simply go too far” because Google could make books available online without copyright owners’ permission, Judge Chin wrote.

The deal would “give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission,” he said.

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