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The first large scale private attempt to both resolve the problem of orphan works and at the same time create new revenue models in the market for books has failed. This week, Circuit Judge Denny Chin rejected the Google Book Settlement in an 48-page-long ruling (PDF). Whether an approval of the so-called “Google Book Settlement” would have been for the good or the bad was highly controversial (see “Pamela Samuelson on the Future of Books in Cyberspace“) and the related discussions have not been futile. The whole Google Books controversy highlights the opportunities and dangers of all-embracing and essentially private regulatory frameworks for the access to books in the digital age (see “Angry Librarians: The eBook User’s Bill of Rights“).
Many blogs specialized on IP issues have immediately started to discuss the short- and long-term consequences of this decision so that for an general overview I just recommend some of these postings:
- The 1709 Blog: Google Books Settlement hits brick wall
- Scrivener’s Error: The Settlement Is Dead; Long Live the Settlement Negotiations!
- Balkinization: Google Books Settlement: Copyright, Congress, and Information Monopolies
- Copyright Litigation Blog: Google Books Settlement Rejected, A Waste for the Blind
- James Grimmelmann: Inside Judge Chin’s Opinion
Grimmelmann is the only one of these commentators that also briefly mentioned the international dimension of the ruling. He summarizes as follows: Read the rest of this entry »