decision to file a legal brief before the court that articulates those concerns.
On May 4, 2009, ARL, ALA, and ACRL filed comments with the US District
Court for the Southern District of New York for the
judge to consider in his ruling. Representing over
139,000 libraries and 350,000 librarians, the
associations filed the brief as members of the
plaintiff class because they are both authors and
publishers of books. The associations asserted that,
although the settlement has the potential to provide
public access to millions of books, many of the
features of the settlement, including the absence of
competition for the new services, could compromise
fundamental library values including equity of
access to information, patron privacy, and
intellectual freedom. The court can mitigate these
possible negative effects by regulating the conduct
of Google and the Book Rights Registry that the
settlement establishes.
The library associations are not asking the judge to reject the settlement.
Instead, they are requesting the judge to carefully monitor the parties’ behavior
once the settlement takes effect.
Excerpts from the Library Associations’ Brief
The Library Associations do not oppose approval of the Settlement. The
Settlement has the potential to provide unprecedented public access to a
digital library containing millions of books. Thus, the Settlement could
advance the core mission of the Library Associations and their members:
providing patrons with access to information in all forms, including books.
However, the digital library enabled by the Settlement will be under the
control of Google and the Book Rights Registry. Moreover, the cost of creating
such a library and Google’s significant lead time advantage suggest that no
other entity will create a competing digital library for the foreseeable future.
The Settlement, therefore, will likely have a significant and lasting impact on
libraries and the public, including authors and publishers. But in the absence
of competition for the services enabled by the Settlement, this impact may
RLI 264 4
The Case for Regulating Google and the Proposed Book Rights Registry
(
C O N T I N U E D
)
JUNE 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
Listen to Kenneth D. Crews, Director,
Copyright Advisory Office, Columbia
University Libraries, on the Google Book
Settlement (4:07 MP3)
http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/rli-264-
google.mp3
Photo Credit: Sam Scott
Previous Page Next Page