Yesterday, Judge Denny Chin of the District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected the proposed settlement in The Authors Guild v. Google Inc. in relation to Google digitizing books. The judge stated: "The question presented is whether the [Amended Settlement Agreement (the “ASA”)] is fair, adequate, and reasonable. I conclude that it is not.
While the digitization of books and the creation of a universal digital library would benefit many, the ASA would simply go too far. It would permit this class action – which was brought against [Google] to challenge its scanning of books and display of “snippets” for on-line searching – to implement a forward-looking business arrangement that would grant Google significant rights to exploit entire books without permission of the copyright owners. Indeed, the ASA would give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engagin in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission, while releasing claims well beyond those presented in the case."