Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Amazon asks judge to reverse approval of new Google deal
23.11.09 Philip Jones in The Bookseller

Amazon has asked the judge presiding over the Google Settlement to reconsider its order granting preliminary approval of the amended settlement. In a memorandum filed with the US court on Friday (20th), Amazon said the ruling was made "without the benefit of opposing viewpoints" from those "class members" to the deal not involved in its renegotiation and was anyway "doomed".

Amazon argued that the settlement released "Google, its library partners, and others from liability for future copyright infringement, including claims based on activities in which Google has not engaged, and would not engage, because doing so would have subjected it to criminal liability" and as such was "doomed from the start and fails to satisfy even the low standard for preliminary approval".

It added: "Instead of squandering resources by proceeding with a settlement that faces certain rejection at the final approval stage, the court should deny preliminary approval, and, if the court so elects, provide the parties with another 30-45 days to renegotiate a settlement that remedies this fatal flaw, by limiting the scope of the releases of Google, its library partners and others to liability for past acts of infringement. Google would then be allowed to engage in future infringing conduct only after receiving permission from each rightsholder whose copyright would be infringed by the contemplated conduct."

The judge has not yet responded to the criticism.

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