Author’s Guild et al. v. Google Inc. Ruling: Amended Settlement Agreement Denied

Judge Denny Chin of the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York has denied the Amended Settlement Agreement for the Author's Guild et al. v. Google Inc. case.

Here's an excerpt from the ruling:

Before the Court is plaintiffs' motion pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for final approval of the proposed settlement of this class action on the terms set forth in the Amended Settlement Agreement (the "ASA"). The question presented is whether the ASA is fair, adequate, and reasonable. I conclude that it is not.

While the digitization of books and the creation of a universal digital library would benefit many, the ASA would simply go too far. It would permit this class action—which was brought against defendant Google Inc. ("Google") to challenge its scanning of books and display of "snippets" for on-line searching—to implement a forward-looking business arrangement that would grant Google significant rights to exploit entire books, without permission of the copyright owners. Indeed, the ASA 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.

Accordingly, and for the reasons more fully discussed below, the motion for final approval of the ASA is denied. The accompanying motion for attorneys' fees and costs is denied, without prejudice.

Read more about it at "After Rejection, a Rocky Road for Google Settlement"; "GBS March Madness: Paths Forward for the Google Books Settlement"; "Google Books Settlement: Copyright, Congress, and Information Monopolies"; "Google Settlement Is Rejected"; "Inside Judge Chin's Opinion"; "Please Refine Your Search Terms"; and "Publishers Remain Committed to Expanding Online Access to Books and Upholding Copyright Despite Court Decision."

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