German government moves on Google book settlement

via Out Law:

“We hope that the court strikes down the approval of the settlement in the class-action suit, or at least excludes our German authors and publishers from the so-called class so the settlement has no impact on them,” German justice minister Brigitte Zypries told German newspaper Handelsblatt this week.

Apart from a few articles in the Irish Times (e.g. a recent Irishman’s Diary, which notes the benefits to Google’s mass-digitisation project), there is little evidence of public awareness in Ireland of the settlement and its impact on authors and publishers. This is likely to change only if the settlement is approved at the next hearing on 7 October. In the meantime, publishers (e.g. the O’Brien Press and Mercier Press) are monitoring the situation but they might feel understandably powerless in the tracks of the contemporary behemoth that is Google.

The European Commission has been “hearing” about the issue and now the Germans have made a move. It was remarkable that the US settlement could proceed with such worldwide effect, but perhaps this development will spur further European action.

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