(The Hosting News) – Google’s ambitious design to create the world’s largest digital library and bookstore ran in to complications this week with the oldest story in the book, copyright. The company’s plan to digitize every book published was derailed when a federal judge in New York rejected the 125 million dollar legal settlement the company worked out with representatives of authors and publishers.
This recent decision has put Google’s most ambitious undertaking into limbo and brings into light the concerns of growing power over information. Currently Google has 15 million books scanned. The entire text of books whose copyright has expired is available through Google’s Book Search services.
Larry Page, co-founder of Google set to become chief executive next month, has long since declared this a pet project of his and has a wide variety of support for the project inside the company. This grandiose undertaking is right alongside the corporate mission to organize all the world’s information and Ken Auletta, author of Google: The End of the World as We Know It states, “It was very much consistent with Larry’s idealism that all of the world’s information be made available freely.”
New York Federal Judge Denny Chin states that the settlement would have granted Google a, “de facto monopoly” and the ability to profit from books without permission from the copyright owner. Chin acknowledged that “the creation of a universal digital library would benefit many,” but continued that the proposed agreement was “not fair, adequate, and reasonable.”
This decision is also a setback for the Author’s Guild and the Association of American Publishers, which sued Google in 2005 over its book scanning project. Just two years ago a settlement was finally approved by authors, publishers, and Google to bring millions of printed work into the digital age.