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Open Book Alliance Releases 'Facts vs. Fiction About the Google Book Settlement'; Urges House Judiciary Committee to Explore These Seven Crucial Topics
Sep 10, 2009 (08:09 AM EDT)

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In advance of today's House Judiciary Committee hearing on the proposed Google Book Settlement, the Open Book Alliance released a list of seven issues related to the settlement that it believes are misunderstood and worthy of further discussion.

"There's been a lot of questions about the nature of this settlement, and, unfortunately, there remains some inaccurate information out there," said Peter Brantley, director, Internet Archive and co-chair of the Open Book Alliance. "We sincerely hope that today's hearing helps clarify some of the facts about the settlement, and we encourage the members of the House Judiciary Committee to explore these areas in its questioning of Google and its partners."

The deal would create a exclusive license for Google because the deal grants no rights to the BRR to license books to competitors -- copyright owners will have to license Google's competitors , while Google gets an license through class action process. As a result, only Google receives a license to "orphan books", whose owners won't show up to license competitors and which comprise an estimated 70% of books. In short, the settlement all but guarantees that Google would have permanent competitive advantages around comprehensiveness and cost. This is one reason why the Department of Justice is investigating the proposed deal and numerous non-profit organizations, academics and other stakeholders have condemned it.

Google's copying activities were initially focused on feeding its search engine. That continues to be its primary motivation. The proposed settlement would provide Google enormous benefits by using books to improve the artificial intelligence (AI) behind of its services, including its dominant web search and advertising, via valuable "non-display" uses. Under the proposed settlement, authors and publishers would get paid nothing for any of these uses. As one Google engineer explained, "We're not scanning all those books to be read by people. We're scanning them to be read by [our] AI."

The Open Book Alliance is a coalition of librarians, legal scholars, authors, publishers, and technology companies created to counter the proposed Google Book Settlement in its current form. The Open Book Alliance can be found online at HASH(0x130da20) , and on Twitter @OBAlliance.

SOURCE Open Book Alliance

CONTACT: Open Book Alliance,

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