'Google Books' Settlement Goes Down; 'Freelance' Decision Still Pending
James Grimmelmann has his usual good analysis up online. So does Andrew Albanese of Publishers Weekly.
There is no need for me to duplicate or attempt to top them here. The only quick point I'll make is that the copyright and class action worlds now will be watching our upcoming Freelance settlement resolution at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals with keen and undivided interest. That decision, if the three-judge panel chooses to frame it broadly, could well set standards for future actions.
It's obvious that much of the Chin ruling on Google Books -- especially the parts about inadequate representation of the class and the "opt out / opt in" dilemma -- could be applied to Freelance, more or less word-for-word.
At the level of policy, I continue to hope that all these essentially similar cases get fused and Congress gets to work on the compulsory-license-and-royalty regime that is the real and ultimate solution.