Open Book Alliance Counters the Google Book Settlement
The Internet Archive is a member of the Open Book Alliance, a group of libraries, authors, publishers, and companies opposing the Google Book Settlement. You can read more about the OBA members and mission:
The Open Book Alliance will counter Google, the Association of American Publishers and the Authors’ Guild’s scheme to monopolize the access, distribution and pricing of the largest digital database of books in the world. To this end, we will promote fair and flexible solutions aimed at achieving a more robust and open system.
It has been a busy couple of days! In the US, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Settlement today. The Open Book Alliance submitted a letter to Rep. John Conyers and Committee member Rep. Lamar Smith and posted a list of seven crucial topics outlining the objections the OBA has to the settlement. The Open Book Alliance also has filed a brief with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York opposing the settlement.
The EU also held a hearing on the Google Book Settlement on Monday. Open Book Alliance co-founder Peter Brantley testified at the hearing:
“We believe that the books rights registry essentially functions as a cartel. Google can exploit all books via U.S. class-action. Competitors would be unable to access orphan works and cannot develop products and services matching their database and comprehensive services. With Google granted a monopoly to unclaimed works, it would exercise a monopoly over subscriptions for the most comprehensive collection of books available.”
Above: a picture of the European Commission via Peter’s twitter stream.
Brewster Kahle also commented about the GBS, in a post on the Open Content Alliance site:
I believe the proposed Settlement will have a chilling effect on building free and open digital libraries. Should the Settlement be approved, Google Book Search becomes a commercial digital library without serious competition. There is certainly a place in the world for its digital library, but, to me, there’s an even greater place in the world forfree and open digital libraries that are numerous, de-centralized, distributed and, most importantly, continuous with the values of our public library system.