Google amends settlement with authors and publishers in U.S. litigation

On Friday, the parties to the Authors Guild, et al. v. Google Inc class action litigation. amended the Original Settlement in response to discussions with the United States Department of Justice and objections to the Original Settlement (the “Amended Settlement”). The Amended Settlement Agreement (“ASA”), an FAQ, as well as the original Settlement Agreement and the original Notice, may be found at http://www.googlebooksettlement.com. A summary of the main amendments are at http://www.googlebooksettlement.com/Supplemental-Notice.pdf.

Some of the key amendments include:

  • Amended Settlement Class. The definition of Books has been narrowed. As a consequence, many class members under the Original Settlement are no longer class members under the Amended Settlement. Under the Amended Settlement if the works are not United States works, they are only included in the Amended Settlement if they were published by January 5, 2009 and either were registered with the U.S. Copyright Office by that date or their place of publication was in Canada, the United Kingdom (“UK”), or Australia.
  • Commercially Available. The Amended Settlement clarifies that a Book is Commercially Available if it is being offered for sale new by a seller anywhere in the world to a buyer in the United States, Canada, the UK or Australia.
  • Representation of Canadian, UK and Australian Rightsholders on the Board of the Registry. The Amended Settlement provides that the Board of the Book Rights Registry (the “Registry”) will, at a minimum, have one author and publisher director each from Canada, the UK and Australia. (ASA Section 6.2(b)(ii))
  • Additional Revenue Models. The Amended Settlement now limits the potential new revenue models to the following three additional Revenue Models, which must be approved by the Registry: 1) Print-on demand (“POD”), 2) File download (formerly “PDF Download”), and 3) Consumer subscription.
now amended the
Original Settlement in response to discussions with the United States Department of Justice and objections to the
Original Settlement (the “Amended Settlement”). The Amended Settlement Agreement (“ASA”), as well as the
original Settlement Agreement and the original Notice, may be found at http://www.googlebooksettlement.com
or obtained from the Settlement Administrator, using the contact information on page 6.
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