Open Book Alliance Files Brief Countering Proposed Google Book Settlement

Tue Sep 8, 2009 2:00pm EDT

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SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Open Book Alliance today
filed a brief with the United States District Court for the Southern District
of New York countering the proposed settlement between Google, the Association
of American Publishers (AAP), and the Authors' Guild. 

The brief was written by noted antitrust attorney Gary Reback, who is
co-founder of the Open Book Alliance. The brief said:

"Google and the plaintiff publishers secretly negotiated for 29 months to
produce a horizontal price fixing combination, effected and reinforced by a
digital book distribution monopoly.  Their guile has cleared much of the field
in digital book distribution, shielding Google from meaningful competition.

"The parties now seek the Court's formal blessing to fix prices, restrain
competition, and retard technological advancement.  More specifically, they
seek waivers in the enforcement of both our nation's antitrust laws (to create
a horizontal cartel of thousands of book publishers through the contrivance of
class certification) and the nation's copyright laws (to sell for their own
benefit orphan books they do not own).  The parties argue that the evils of
price-fixing and monopoly necessarily attend the creation of their new product
- that there will be no universal library and bookstore without stifling
competition. But that is not so.  There are far less onerous alternatives. For
example, through the simple expedient of compulsory licensing, a technique
well known and successfully employed in antitrust, many of the competitive
problems associated with the parties' scheme can be avoided."

The full brief can be found at

The Open Book Alliance is a coalition of librarians, legal scholars, authors,
publishers, and technology companies created to counter the proposed Google
Book Settlement in its current form. The Open Book Alliance can be found
online at, and on Twitter @OBAlliance. 

SOURCE  Open Book Alliance

Open Book Alliance Media/Blogger Contact:
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