Libraries Respond to Google Decision

From today’s Chronicle of Higher Education

Tuesday, a federal judge tossed out the proposed settlement in the lawsuit over Google’s vast book-digitization project. Still, research libraries with a stake in that work said they were undeterred. They emphasized that widespread digital access is key to scholars’ work, and reiterated their commitment to making as much material available to as many people as possible, whether or not the settlement is revived in some form. And they said they hoped the ruling, by Judge Denny Chin, would galvanize efforts to solve the vexing problem of orphan works, which are under copyright but whose rights-holders are unknown or unfindable.

Some university librarians noted that the settlement’s demise has scuttled, at least for the time being, the goal of low-cost library subscriptions to the enormous Google catalog. But they also raised hopes for a legislative solution that would sidestep the concerns about monopoly that the Google settlement raised.

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