Judge Scraps Google's Deal to Digitize Books

Let authors opt in only if they choose, he suggests
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2011 6:04 PM CDT
In this Oct. 8, 2006 file photo, women work at laptops in front of a Google logo at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany.   (AP Photo/DAPD, Torsten Silz, File)

(Newser) – Google's plan to build a giant digital bookstore is in limbo after a federal judge rejected a proposed settlement between the search giant and an alliance of book publishers and authors, MarketWatch reports. Judge Denny Chin said the $125 million settlement, which gave Google approval to digitize all books except those actively withdrawn by copyright holders, "would simply go too far."

Chin said he would be satisfied if Google switched from an "opt-out" to an "opt-in" model. That would keep so-called "orphan books," or those whose copyright holders can't be found, out of Google's library, notes the New York Times. A company spokesperson called the ruling "disappointing" and said Google was considering its next move. A lawyer for the Open Book Alliance, which includes Microsoft and Amazon.com, said the settlement was "everything we were asking for.”

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