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Judge gives preliminary backing to revised Google books settlement

A federal judge late Thursday granted preliminary approval to a revised settlement between Google and two authors and publishers groups over the Internet giant's effort to create a vast digital library.

U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin, of the Southern District of New York, said he will hold a hearing Feb. 18 on the new settlement, which would give Google access to scan and print millions of out-of-print titles protected under copyright.

The first settlement reached between the parties in 2008 was criticized by the Justice Department, online commerce competitors, library groups and the Internet Archive.

In response to those criticisms, the parties have revised their agreement, but critics say the new deal still falls short of protecting competition among book resellers and doesn't adequately address copyright concerns, particularly over orphan works -- titles whose authors can't be found or are unknown.

The Justice Department and the public will have until Feb. 4 to comment on the new settlement.

By Cecilia Kang  |  November 19, 2009; 10:05 PM ET
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The settlement still doesn't address the fundamental issue: it WASN'T LEGAL for Google to scan all of those books. What's more, a settlement in a class action lawsuit cannot MAKE it legal. Google is being a scofflaw, and appears poised to get away with it.

Posted by: squirma | November 20, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

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