The Internet Archive has sent a letter to Judge Dennis Chin, the judge overseeing the Google/Authors Guild, AAP case seeking permission to file a motion that would ask the court to alter the proposed settlement to give other companies that have scanned printed books the same copyright protection of orphan works that would be granted to Google in the settlement. In the letter, the Archive
notes that it is one of a number of parties interesting in opposing the
settlement, “because it effectively limits the liability for the
identified uses of orphan works of one party alone, Google… all other
persons, including Internet content providers such as the Archive,
would not be able to use orphan works broadly without being exposed to
claims of infringement.”
The same argument was made last week by the Consumer Watchdog group
when it asked the Justice Department to intervene in the settlement. In
the letter, the Archive said it does not want to merely file a friend
of the court brief, as other parties may do, because it believes “there
are no existing parties in the case that could adequately represent the
Archive’s interests, or the interest of other Internet content
providers.” The Archive said it does not intend to oppose the
settlement, but wants to intervene for the purpose of challenging the
orphan works part of the agreement. The Archive said it is aware of the
timeline in the case (objections due by May 5, and a hearing June 11),
and would meet those deadlines.
The Internet Archive is a nonprofit library that, among other things, operates the www.archive.org Web site as well as administers the Open Content Alliance.
To see what other groups are questioning the Google settlement, see this week’s magazine.