Friday, September 25, 2009

Google Books deal forces us to rethink copyright; Guardian, 9/25/09

Nick Harkaway, Guardian; Google Books deal forces us to rethink copyright:

The Google Books deal has been postponed: good. But what we really need is copyright reform

"Last Friday, the US Department of Justice gave the Google Books settlement a clip across the ear. The DoJ filing basically told the parties they were overreaching the bounds of a settlement, effectively creating new law. It also waved the anti-trust stick. The settlement as we knew it now seems to be off the table.

In one sense I'm relieved. I opted out, which felt like a huge decision, and now it looks as if things are less cut and dried than I feared they might be. I'm also relieved that the good practice of copyright is being protected. On the other hand, I'm disappointed. Google's library plan was staggering and exciting – it wasn't the idea I objected to, but the method."

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