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Settlement on Google book search lawsuit

June 15, 2014

Tags: Settlement, book scanning, litigation, orphan books

Updated 9-5-16, 11-12-14
Appeals court rules that Google book scanning is fair use (Joe Mullin, Ars Technica, 10-16-15) After nearly a decade of litigation, a landmark win. "The Authors' Guild sued Google, saying that serving up search results from scanned books infringes on publishers' copyrights, even though the search giant shows only restricted snippets of the work. The Authors' Guild sued Google, saying that serving up search results from scanned books infringes on publishers' copyrights, even though the search giant shows only restricted snippets of the work.
"In its opinion (PDF), a three-judge panel rejected all of the Authors' Guild claims in a decision that will broaden the scope of fair use in the digital age. The immediate effect means that Google Books won't have to close up shop or ask book publishers for permission to scan. In the long run, the ruling could inspire other large-scale digitization projects."

The long-fought class action freelancer suit alleging copyright infringement in Google's widespread book scanning (Literary Works in Electronic Databases) was settled ($18 million). Read here about the settlement itself, followed by pieces posted earlier on the issues, arguments, contenders. "There is nothing any of the claimants need to do at this point except deposit your checks when you receive them," said the Authors Guild.
Not that the lawsuit did much to limit Google's power to show things for free (they profit from the nearby ads), making it less likely the searchers will buy the books they are seeing pages from. And at least one named author in the lawsuit regretted participating, because of the chilling effect on publishers' desire to work with litigants.

Here are more updates:
• The Authors Guild announcement (6-12-14): $18 Million Settlement of Freelance Suit Against Electronic Databases Granted Final Approval
Copyright Class Action Settlement Website
C Claims Info (Claims Processing and Claims Information)

And here are some of the arguments over the years, for those who want to understand the issues.

Updates from Freelance Rights (updates by Irv Muchnick, lead respondent in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case for writers' rights, Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick (see PW story, The Objector (4-5-10). And I quote: "Since 2005, Muchnick has been the lead objector to a proposed settlement stemming from the central rights dispute of the digital age—Tasini v. New York Times—the landmark case in which members of the National Writers’ Union sued the newspaper and some electronic aggregators for, well, piracy. For those who think the other major digital rights case of today—the Google settlement—is close to resolution, consider this: Muchnick joined the Tasini case in 1994. In 1997, as a district court judge, Sonia Sotomayor ruled in favor of the defendants. In 1999, an Appeals Court reversed Sotomayor. In 2001, the Supreme Court affirmed that reversal. Four years later, in 2005, a settlement was announced. It was quickly approved, but Muchnick, and a handful of other objectors, including Anita Bartholomew, represented by Charles Chalmers, appealed." One thing they objected to, says Anita, is the settlement's license in perpetuity.

Writers Groups Want Publisher-Google Terms Made Public (Jim Milliot, PW, 10-10-12). ASJA, NWU, and SFFWA have "asked the Department of Justice to review last week’s settlement between the AAP and Google that ended the publishers’ seven-year copyright fight with the giant company....A major issue for the organizations is the fate of books published before publishing contracts contained language about the ownership of e-book rights, with the writers contending that in contracts where the rights are not spelled out, e-book rights remain with the author. According to the writers, when publishers agree to give Google access to backlist books, it’s likely that the publisher is taking money for rights owned by authors, not publishers."

AAP and Google: Please Take It Outside (Peter Brantley, PW, 10-10-12). "I applaud the publisher agreement with Google, as it moves the ball forward on making more literature available through search and discovery, as well as opening up a larger marketplace for backlist titles...But I agree with the authors groups on this: the key points of the AAP agreement need to be made public....Best for the parties to take the key points of this agreement outside, into the sunshine, for all to see. "

The Google/AAP Settlement: Less Than Meets the Eye? (Rick Anderson, The Scholarly Kitchen, 10-10-12). Until the Authors Guild’s class action suit is settled, the future of the Google Books project will remain very much up in the air.

Google Deal Gives Publishers a Choice: Digitize or Not (Claire Cain Miller, NY Times, 10-4-12). "After seven years of litigation, Google and book publishers said on Thursday that they had reached a settlement to allow publishers to choose whether Google digitizes their books and journals. ... "The publishers' private settlement, whatever its terms, does not resolve the authors' copyright infringement claims against Google," Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, said in a statement. "Google continues to profit from its use of millions of copyright-protected books without regard to authors' rights, and our class-action lawsuit on behalf of U.S. authors continues."

Publishers Settle Long-Running Lawsuit Over Google's Book-Scanning Project (Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, 10-4-12) Under the settlement, American publishers can now opt to remove their copyrighted books and journals from Google's library project or choose to make them available for use and sale.

Closing the Book (Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Education, 10-5-12). According to Tom Turvey, director of strategic partnerships for Google’s search services division, the basic thrust of the accord is this: All the books with PUBLISHER-OWNED copyrights that Google initially scanned into its database from university libraries will now be either removed from the company’s database or made more easily available through the Google Books interface, which lets visitors read 20 percent of each book for free. [all caps added for emphasis]

Google strikes deal with publishers over universal library (Julianne Pepitone, CNN MoneyTech, 10-4-12)

Judge Denny Chin�s 48-page decision on the proposed settlement of the Google litigation, released March 22, 2011

Dreaming of a Virtual Library: Authors Guild v. Google (Scott Turow, Authors Guild, in letter to the editor, New York Times 4-6-11). (The day of decision: Scott Turow (Authors Guild) on Google Ruling

Judge Rejects Google Books Settlement (Amir Efrati, WSJ, 3-22-11)

TeleRead's summary of the bases for Judge Chin's decision (Paul Biba, TeleRead 3-22-11)

Judge rejects Google's attempt to create a universal library (Laurie Segall, CNN Money 3-22-2011). "Google's settlement agreement is a complex, 166-page document. While the company took pains to protect the rights of copyright holders -- only tiny snippets are revealed from in-print books -- it put the burden on authors and publishers to police their works' inclusion in the archive. Google will remove books on request, but without an explicit request, it will otherwise digitize anything it can get hold of."

"That didn't sit well with Judge Chin. He also expressed concern over the agreement's handling of 'orphaned' books -- works that are still under copyright, but no longer in print.

"'The questions of who should be entrusted with guardianship over orphan books, under what terms, and with what safeguards are matters more appropriately decided by Congress than through an agreement among private, self-interested parties,' Chin wrote in his ruling."

Google Books: Headed for the Bonfire? (Erik Sherman, BNET Wired In blog, 3-23-11, which links to his earlier posts). Sherman writes: "The two sides negotiated a highly controversial settlement that drew extensive criticism from the Department of Justice, including the following:
* "Class action suits generally address past actions. This one allowed Google to display copyrighted works in the future for anyone who did not opt out of the agreement.
* "It seemed questionable that any representative could adequately represent all rights owners, especially those who were unreachable but who owned rights to books that were under copyright protection but out of print.
* "Google needed active permission to use the in-print works but not out-of-print. Rights owners that did not claim money within five years would forfeit their money to those already registered. So the deal was stacked in the favor of those with rights to books currently in print, even though Google wanted to scan and display the out-of-print books."

Google's Book Deal (Times editorial, 3-30-11)

Google Book Search Settlement Agreement

___________________________________

There are HUGE issues involved in this book settlement (see especially Mary Beth Peters on the dangers of changing copyright law about orphan works through litigation rather than legislation). This kind of issue may give you a headache, but you should read up on it if you have ever written and published a book.
See also links to stories about Orphan Works legislation.

The Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers support the agreement. Among those who oppose it are Mary Beth Peters, U.S. Register of Copyrights, calls the settlement "a compulsory license for the benefit of one company," and believes it's the wrong way to go about handling the "orphan works" issue. Orphan works are copyrighted works for whom the rights-holders cannot be identified or located -- the very rights-holders who are also unlikely to come forward and opt out of the settlement. As Brewster Kahle writes, summing up objections of others: "Google would get an explicit, perpetual license to scan and sell access to these in-copyright but out-of-print orphans, which make up an estimated 50 to 70 percent of books published after 1923. No other provider of digital books would enjoy the same legal protection.... We need to focus on legislation to address works that are caught in copyright limbo. And we need to stop monopolies from forming so that we can create vibrant publishing environments."

"In the short run," concludes intellectual property expert Pamela Samuelson, "the Google Book Search settlement will unquestionably bring about greater access to books collected by major research libraries over the years. But it is very worrisome that this agreement, which was negotiated in secret by Google and a few lawyers working for the Authors Guild and AAP (who will, by the way, get up to $45.5 million in fees for their work on the settlement�more than all of the authors combined!), will create two complementary monopolies with exclusive rights over a research corpus of this magnitude. Monopolies are prone to engage in many abuses.

"The Book Search agreement is not really a settlement of a dispute over whether scanning books to index them is fair use. It is a major restructuring of the book industry�s future without meaningful government oversight. The market for digitized orphan books could be competitive, but will not be if this settlement is approved as is."
~ conclusion from Legally Speaking: The Dead Souls of the Google Booksearch Settlement by Pamela Samuelson (O'Reilly Radar, 4-17-09)

The SFWA statement (see below) provides another clear outline of objections to the settlement. Those who object may want to sign Ursula LeGuin's Petition Letter to the Judge of the Google Book Settlement (to be sent to Judge Chin by January 28th, 2010, attached as an exhibit to the brief to be submitted to the court by the NWU, ASJA, and SFWA, who oppose the settlement).

One member of ASJA, encouraged to sign LeGuin's petition, responded: "I can't sign the petition because I do not agree. I feel the agreement is useful and worthwhile. It verifies that Google's preemptive scanning was wrong and prevents others from going about it the same way. It sets up a best practices standard and mechanism for the transition from print to digital publishing. I respect the people who oppose the settlement and I know they have put much thought and concern into the matter. But I have not found their arguments convincing."

So, should you have opted out? Here are a few of the last-minute aids to decision-making that ASJA posted for its members at the time of the January 2010 deadline for opting out:
• Here's where to opt out: Google Book Settlement (you no longer have to list all your works).
• GBS frequently asked questionshttp://www.googlebooksettlement.com/help/bin/answer.py?answer=118704&hl=en
• Here is an explanation of your options by law professor Pamela Samuelson of UC Berkeley (who objected to the settlement, hoping to make the settlement deal fairer for academic authors).
• Here are some of the objection letters, posted on The Public Index.
• Here is a webcast of a Jan. 20 panel workshop in New York, which ASJA cosponsored with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the National Writers Union, and the Internet Society. Speakers are NYU Law professor James Grimmelmann, AG executive director Paul Aiken, Lynn Chu of Writers Reps LLC, with Ed Hasbrouck of NWU, Salley Shannon of ASJA, and Michael Capobianco of SFFW. Webcast (video and audio). This is DEFINITELY WORTH LISTENING TO:http://www.isoc-ny.org/?p=1282 and podcast (audio only): http://punkcast.com/1704/1704/1704_google_books.mp3.
• Here's a podcast of a similar event in Berkeley, with Pamela Samuelson, the law professor, and Ed Hasbrouck (NWU's book division co-chair):http://punkcast.com/1704/sf/NWU-GBS-Berkeley-22JAN2010.mp3.

Here is the Justice Department's Feb. 4, 2010, statement: Despite Substantial Progress Made, Issues Remain. And here's the New York Times on the Justice Department's statement(Miguel Helft, 2-10-10): "In a 31-page filing that could influence a federal judge�s ruling on the settlement, the department said the new agreement was much improved from an earlier version. But it said the changes were not enough to placate concerns that the deal would grant Google a monopoly over millions of orphan works, meaning books whose right holders are unknown or cannot be found.
"The department also indicated that the revised agreement, like its predecessor, appeared to run afoul of authors' copyrights and was too broad in scope.
"The revised agreement 'suffers from the same core problem as the original agreement: it is an attempt to use the class-action mechanism to implement forward-looking business arrangements that go far beyond the dispute before the court in this litigation,' the department wrote."
Here's the Authors Guild response:( To RIAA or Not to RIAA, That was the Question), explaining why they didn't press litigation through to the end. AG cites the Pyrrhic court victories of the Recording Industry Association of America and the collapse of the music industry. "The ace in the hole for musicians is that they're not as dependent on copyright as book authors are. Music is a performing art: people buy tickets to see musicians. Writing is decidedly not a performing art. Nearly all authors give away their performances, through book tours and readings, and are glad for any audience they can find. For most authors, markets created by copyright are all we've got.Protecting authors' interests has always been our top priority: in this case a timely harnessing of Google was the best way to do it."

The following links are to explanations, arguments, etc., that have been available for some time:

American Library Association's files on the Google Book Settlement. Information for the library community--links to news, to A Guide for the Perplexed: Libraries and the Google Library Project Settlement, and much more

Authors Guild v. Google Settlement Resources Page (AG)

Authors Guild Memo to Agents and Authors: William Morris's Google Memo Off Target. AG corrects both Morris memo and various myths circulating about the settlement. AG says that by staying in the settlement you aren't limited to the (quite favorable) royalty rate we've negotiated; you have the right to veto your publisher's decision to make your in-print book available in any way through the settlement; you have the right to block all displays of your out-of-print books, even if rights haven't reverted to you, even if your publisher wants to display the books; you have the right to have your work in Google's searchable database and display only snippets to users, blocking all other uses by Google; you have the right to change your mind (allow books you'd previously blocked to be displayed; block books you'd previously allowed to be displayed) at any time. Do read this one.

Google Book Search Settlement Notice for Authors and Other Rightsholders. There's a page here for opting out of the settlement; the deadline for opting out is Sept. 4, 2009. The Final Fairness Hearing is Oct. 7, 2009. If you opt out, you may want to read this overview of the Google Books Partner Program, one alternative that allows you to be part of the Google action.

Google Books Settlement FAQ
Public Index (an open archive of documents filed with the court, including objections. Scott E. Gant's objection is particularly cogent.

Justia (a second site of open access to documents filed on the case in Federal District court)

The Laboratorium: New White Paper on Settlement Objections (clarified by James Grimmelman of New York University)

ASJA joints groundswell of opposition to Google Book settlement

The best bit of the Google Book Settlement (access to the scholar's treasure trove of out-of-print books), Nate Anderson, Ars Technica

Bill Keller's Best Frenemy (John Koblin, The New York Observer, 5-19-09, on Google's Relationship with NY Times)

A book grab by Google (Brewster Kahle, Washington Post, 5-19-09)

Chilling effect of Google tracking your online book browsing (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Consumer Group Protests Google Settlement (Jim Milliot, PW, on Consumer Watchdog asking for delay on settlement because of orphan works issue and "most favored nation" clause)

DOJ Inquiry Over Book Deal Puts Google on Notice (Sam Gustin, wired.com)

European Opposition Mounts Against Google�s Selling Digitized Books (Kevin J. O'Brien and Eric Pfanner NYTimes, 8-23-09)

# Federal District Court Filings (Author's Guild vs. Google, 2005-2009)

5 Ways the Google Book Settlement Will Change the Future of Reading. (Annalee Newitz, io9 Publishing, 4-2-10). An interesting summary from Gawker's science fiction/futurist blog about the implications of the settlement,only one highlight from which is quoted here:
"The Google Book Settlement could easily be the twenty-first century's most important shift in how we deal with copyright in the world of publishing. To understand it, you need a little back story on the previous giant shift in copyright law, which happened about twelve years ago.
* "Mickey Mouse Protection Act. In 1998, copyright was turned on its head by a piece of legislation often called the "Mickey Mouse Protection Act.Known to policy-makers as the Copyright Extension Act, it was the result of intensive lobbying by the entertainment industry, led in part by Disney, to extend the copyright on any work created after 1923. Many of Disney's classic pieces of content, like Mickey Mouse cartoons, were about to pass into the public domain. So the company was naturally interested in keeping control of the Mouse as long as it could....The Act also gave birth to a loosely organized but powerful movement of copyright reformists....Over the past decade, many of these reformists migrated to jobs in Silicon Valley, where easily-copied digital media are constantly forcing the question of what copyright really means in the information age.
One might say that the Google Book Settlement (GBS) is the result of this migration." Read on here.

Google and Book Publishers Settle (Andr�s Guadamuz, WIPO Magazine, July 2009)

Google Book Settlement Administrative Site

European publishers target Google (Richard Waters, Ben Hall, Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, Financial Times, 8-12-09, on strong European opposition to the settlement) Free reqistration required

Google's Book Search: A Disaster for Scholars (Geoffrey Nunberg, Chronicle of Higher Education, 3-31-09). Nunberg writes:
"...50 or 100 years from now control of the collection may pass from Google to somebody else�Elsevier, Unesco, Wal-Mart. But it's safe to assume that the digitized books that scholars will be working with then will be the very same ones that are sitting on Google's servers today, augmented by the millions of titles published in the interim.

"That realization lends a particular urgency to the concerns that people have voiced about the settlement -- about pricing, access, and privacy, among other things. But for scholars, it raises another, equally basic question: What assurances do we have that Google will do this right?

"Doing it right depends on what exactly 'it' is. Google has been something of a shape-shifter in describing the project. The company likes to refer to Google's book search as a 'library,' but it generally talks about books as just another kind of information resource to be incorporated into Greater Google."

and later:
"...to pose those [research] questions, you need reliable metadata about dates and categories, which is why it's so disappointing that the book search's metadata are a train wreck: a mishmash wrapped in a muddle wrapped in a mess."

Read the whole Chronicle story here.

Google Books Settlement at Columbia, Part 1 (Mary Minow, LibraryLaw Blog,reporting 3-15-09 on a conference at Columbia University on The Google Books Settlement: What will it mean for the long term?)

Google Books Settlement at Columbia, Part 2 (Mary Minow, LibraryLaw Blog)

Google's Book Settlement Is a Ripoff for Authors: Why allow a single publisher to throw out a functioning copyright system? ? Lynn Chu's piece in the Wall Street Journal and a letter to the editor in response from Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild: The Google Book Deal Will Help, Not Hurt, Authors, which points out essential errors in Chu's piece. Anita Bartholomew, in turn, says the Authors Guild is providing false information.

Google Books Settlement Conference: What Will It Mean for the Long Term? (recording of conference of experts held at The Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts available for viewing online)

Google Book Deal in DOJ Sights (Erik Sherman, BNET, 6-11-09)

Google Book Search settlement gives Google a virtual monopoly over literature (Cory Doctorow, Boingboing, 4-17-09)

Google Faces Antitrust Investigation for Agreement to Digitize Millions of Books Online (transcript of Brewster Kahle, founder of Internet Archive, and Amy Goodman on Democracy Now Radio)

Google Hopes to Open a Trove of Little-Seen Books (Motoko Rich, New York Times, 1-4-09, on Google's massive book scan and search project)

Google Loses in French Copyright Case (Matthew Saltmarsh, NY Times, 12-18-09). Paris court rules against Google after publisher argues the industry is being exploited by Google's Book Search program, launched in 2005.

The Google settlement, answering some of the questions about the windfall (Mike Shatzkin 4-18--09)

Google settlement: What the Google Settlement Means for Authors and Publishers (Jonathan Kirsch, IBPA, 2-09)

Google Slammed by Photographers' Class Action (Erik Sherman, B-Net, 4-7-10). The American Society of Media Photographers -- with the Graphic Artists Guild, Picture Archive Counsel of America, North American Nature Photography Association, and Professional Photographers of America -- filed a class-action copyright infringement suit, alleging that Google failed to obtain permission to scan and display books from people who owned rights to photographs and illustrations that appear in the titles.

Google�s Plan for Out-of-Print Books Is Challenged (Miguel Helft, NY Times, 4-3-09)

Google's tangled quest for a universal online library (Farhad Manjoo, Slate, 5-6-09, Your Search Returned 12 Million Books) -- calls on authors and publishers to grant Google's competitors the same rights they're giving Google, to create a truly vibrant market for books

Google to cut the e-book middleman (Stan Schroeder, Mashable)

How to fill out the Google Book Settlement claim form (PDF file of instructions by example, compliments of Kristine Smith, chair of the digital rights management committee of Novelists Inc, via NASW)

How to fix the Google Book Search Settlement (PDF of James Grimmelmann's article in Journal of Internet Law)

How to understand the objections just filed in the Google settlement (Anita Bartholomew, Ask the Editor, who writes:
"it�s as if Search Engine X infringed my copyright but not yours. But in settling the case, I made a deal with Search Engine X that it could have your future rights along with mine, in exchange for something else I wanted. Do you think it would be fair for you to be forced into such a deal? I don�t either. And, aside from a dozen other arguments that could be made, I hope that Judge Chin recognizes the inherent injustice of such a deal and stops it right there.")

Internet Archive's objection to the Google Book Settlement ("give other companies that have scanned printed books the same copyright protection of orphan works that would be granted to Google in the settlement"), as reported in PW by Jim Milliot

In Google book settlement, business trumps ideals (Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service, PC News)

It�s Not Just Microsoft That�s Balking at Google�s Book Plans (Miguel Helft, NY Times, 4-4-09)

Judge Issues 4-Month Delay in Google Book Search Settlement (Ryan Singel, Wired.com)

Justice Department Seeks Information From Publishers on Pact to Make Text Available Online (WSJ, "Probe of Google Book Deal Heats Up," 6-10-09)

Justice Dept. Opens Antitrust Inquiry Into Google Books Deal *Miguel Helft, NY Times, 4-28-09)

Kernochan Center Conference Scrutinizes the Google Books Settlement (in four parts)

Lawyer and Author Adds His Objections to Settling the Google Book Lawsuit (Miguel Helft and Motoko Rich, NY Times, 8-18-09: Scott E. Gant "argues that the agreement, which gives Google commercial rights to millions of books without having to negotiate for them individually, amounts to an abuse of the class-action process. He also contends that it does not sufficiently compensate authors and does not adequately notify and represent all the authors affected.")

Libraries weigh in with worries on Google's book settlement (John Timmer, Ars Technica, 5-5-09)

Lynn Chu: Agent Unplugged, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett's interview with this principal of Writers' Representatives LLC in the public part of the January 2010 issue of ASJA Monthly, is as helpful an analysis of what authors should know about their rights in the new electronic world as you are likely to read. It starts on pp. 6-7 of this PDF file,then jumps to p. 13. Print those pages out and mark them up! Her comments on the Google Book Settlement appear on p. 13, and her most valuable comments are on how book publishers are trying to becoming licensing agents for e-rights while taking a print publishers' share of income and without doing what a licensing agent ought to do, and since authors will very quickly learn how much they can do without the publishers, they are playing a dangerous game.

**Mary Beth Peters, Register of Copyrights, on the Google Books Settlement (as reported by Mary Minow, LibraryLaw Blog, reporting 3-15-09 on a conference at Columbia University on The Google Books Settlement: What will it mean for the long term?)

Open Book Alliance: Diverse Coalition Unites To Counter Google Book Settlement. "One of the most significant developments in the history of publishing could be co-opted by the settlement of a class action lawsuit that creates an unprecedented monopoly and price fixing cartel," write Peter Brantley and Gary Reback in Open the Book on the Open Book Alliance blog. They claim the ettlement is bad for consumers and book-lovers; is bad for libraries and schools; is bad for authors and small publishers; and sets a dangerous and unprecedented process precedent.

Opposition to Google Books Settlement Jells (Miguel Helft, Bits, NY Times, 4-17-09)

Opting out of the Google Book Settlement, Pro and Con (Slashdot)

Pros and cons of the Google book deal (David Weinberger, KMWorld, covering content, document, and knowledge management)

The Public Index (a site to study, discuss, browse, and annotate the settlement, section by section)

PublishersLunch on the settlement, citing various foreign publishers and Amazon. Amazon's objection is that it is anticompetitive and amounts to price fixing; PL points out that Amazon fears a competitor with overhwelming power. "Among the objections repeated by many of the filers from abroad are assertions of problems in providing notice to class members around the world; failures to translate the entire settlement into other languages and inadequate translation of key legal terms such as "work for hire" for countries where such legal terms of art do not exist; errors in the books database that have made it difficult for rightsholders to identify all of their works; undue burdens in the process of having to opt out for historical lines of thousands of titles; and broadly incorrect classification of works in other languages as commercially unavailable."

A Raw Deal for Libraries (Open Content Alliance--an interesting discussion)

Scanning the Horizon of Books and Libraries (Amy Goodman, Truthdig, 9-29-09)

Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America statement on proposed Google book settlement. This is one of the easiest to understand statements against the settlement, covering issues of particular importance to fiction writers, and these: "the settlement makes no distinction, nor does it provide a mechanism for discovering the difference, between works deemed out-of-print and works in the public domain"; the AG and AAP "are poor representatives of the class as neither represents the types of work perhaps most significantly affected by the settlement, namely scholarly works"; the "'opt-out' mechanism proposed for the settlement contradicts the very foundation of copyright; the "the class does not reflect the interested parties, primarily the holders of copyrights in 'orphan works' where the rightsholder(s) cannot be identified or found."

Some Fear Google�s Power in Digital Books (Noam Cohen, NY Times, Link by Link 2-1-09)

Steinbeck Heirs Seek to Slow Google Books Settlement (Miguel Helft, NY Times, 4-27-09)
Thousands of authors opt out of Google book settlement (Alison Flood, Guardian, 2-23-10)
What the Google settlement means for publishers and authors (Jonathan Kirsch, IBPA, 2-09)

Where to get a better deal than the Google Settlement? From Google (Anita Bartholomew).

Who's Messing With the Google Book Settlement? Hint: They're in Redmond, Washington (Steven Levy, Wired, 3-31-09), points out that Microsoft helped fund Grimmelmann.)

Why the Google Settlement Matters to You (pdf file, Access, the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency)

William Morris Agency Advises Clients to Say No to Google Settlement (Motoko rich, NY Times, 8-7-09). See William Morris's Google Memo Off Target on Authors Guild site.

For more insights and links to references, see the Wikipedia entry Google Book Search Settlement Agreement

Links to other resources on Writers and Editors website