Judge Denny Chin of the US District Court rejected a deal google reached with publishers to split the proceeds from books who’s authors could not be found. Sound familiar? Yeah, that’s basically orphan works for books.
Google reached the settlement in 2008, agreeing to pay $125 million to establish a registry to allow authors and publishers to register their works and get paid when their titles are viewed online. The deal resolved a consolidated lawsuit in which authors and publishers sought to block the company from scanning books and making them searchable online.
The plaintiffs alleged that Google’s book-search project violated copyrights.
The judge said it went too far in granting Google rights to exploit books without permission from copyright owners.
He did have a solution for the publishers and google. Rather than opt out the copyright owners should be given the chice to opt in. “I urge the parties to consider revising the [settlement] accordingly,” Judge Chin wrote.
UPDATE: The full opinion is here (PDF).