1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Friday, 21 August 2009

Three against one Google Settlement!

Microsoft, Yahoo and Amazon are to oppose the Google Book Settlement, joining a new coalition of opponents to be called the Open Book Alliance. The Alliance will be led by lawyer Gary L. Reback and the Internet Archive. Other members of the Alliance will include library and journalism associations. Peter Brantley, Director of the Internet Archive, tells me that ‘we’ll have something out from the group on a web site next week’.

It is hardly surprising to see these three weighing in, especially Google’s arch-rival, Microsoft. What is so eye-catching is to see them banding together. Microsoft and Yahoo, it is true, are new best friends, having only just signed a search-engine deal, giving Microsoft its long-awaited chance of matching Google (ironically, that deal too will be facing intense anti-competition scrutiny). Can it be that the threesome seek strength in numbers? Despite their joint front, it is thought that members of the Alliance will file objections with the court separately. Maybe it’s just a publicity stunt? The deadline for making an objection or expressing intent to appear at the Final Fairness Hearing is in two weeks. Now it won’t be creeping up quite so quietly.

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