Friday, August 21, 2009

Google Rivals Will Oppose Book Settlement; New York Times, 8/21/09

Miguel Helft via New York Times; Google Rivals Will Oppose Book Settlement:

"Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo are planning to join a coalition of nonprofit groups, individuals and library associations to oppose a proposed class-action settlement giving Google the rights to commercialize digital copies of millions of books...

Gary L. Reback, an antitrust lawyer in Silicon Valley, who is acting as counsel to the coalition, said that Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo had all agreed to join the group, which is tentatively called the Open Book Alliance. The group, led by Mr. Reback and the Internet Archive, a nonprofit group that has been critical of the settlement, plans to make a case to the Justice Department that the arrangement is anticompetitive. Members of the alliance will most likely file objections with the court independently.

“This deal has enormous, far-reaching anticompetitive consequences that people are just beginning to wake up to,” said Mr. Reback, a lawyer with Carr & Ferrell, a firm in Palo Alto, Calif. In the 1990s, Mr. Reback helped persuade the Justice Department to file its landmark antitrust case against Microsoft.

Some library associations and groups representing authors are also planning to join the coalition, he said."

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