Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Google / Authors Guild Deal And the UnSettlement

Many blog readers caught wind of yesterday's announcement that the Authors Guild (along with the Association of American Publishers) have a $125 million preliminary settlement of the class-action lawsuit against Google's book-scan operation. Read all about it. Like the freelance writers' settlement to which we have objected, this one is subject to judicial review. I, personally, am nowhere close to processing all the background documents of that settlement and will reserve comment until I do.

At, the only significant news organ to give our case close attention, the headline yesterday from reporter Andrew Albanese was "As Google Settlement Now Seeks Court Approval, Rejected Tasini Settlement Shoots for Supreme Court Review." See

Our guess is that the Supreme Court will decide pretty quickly whether to hear the appeal. Maybe next Monday or the following Monday.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


According to the Supreme Court Web site, this case was distributed to day for the Nov. 14 conference.

Here is the link:

2:48 PM  
Blogger Irv Muchnick said...

Thanks for that info. So the justices may decide whether to grant cert. two weeks from Friday, November 14, and announce their decision Monday the 17th.


2:57 PM  
Anonymous moxie said...

Irv, the Supreme Court docket indicates that after the objectors' response was filed, Reed Elsevier filed a response to it. Is there a way to post that here?

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Moxie said...

Irv, I should have included this with the other comment.
I was discussing this case with a lawyer friend who has some knowledge of Supreme Court procedure. He says that the post-conference decision might not be just an either/or between cert (setting this for argument later) or no cert (sending it back to the district court for a revised settlement). There also is a third possibility: The justices could review all the briefs that have been filed, as well as the settlement, and make a ruling on the spot to reject, amend or even uphold. Often, this is done as a very concise ruling with little or no comment.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Irv Muchnick said...

Dear Moxie,

I got the defendants' brief just hours ago and will post it shortly. Thanks for the great info on possible actions by the Court. We'll be watching!


9:00 PM  
Blogger FrancesGrimble said...

First, a link to an article with a good financial breakdown of the Google Settlement's likely benefits (or lack thereof) to authors:

Second, some anti-Settlement and anti-"information should be free" slogans I thought up. I hereby release them into the wild.

Google: The information highwaymen

Copyright is governed by Congress, not by Google

Intellectual property: Real work, real money

Turn on, tune in, opt out

It’s 10 o’clock. Do you know where your copyrighted books are?

Copyright owners are the real orphans

One-way socialism: Writers labor to create everyone else’s profits

Writers: The new slave caste

Writers should be free—-to earn a living

Information is free only when you make other people pay for it

2:29 PM  

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