Judge Nixes Google Book Digitalization Deal

NEW YORK—A federal judge here shot down Google’s $125 million legal settlement it had worked out with authors and publishers to create the world’s largest digital library and book store, The New York Times reported.

Judge Denny Chin, citing copyright and antitrust issues, said the settlement went too far and would have paved the way for a “de facto monopoly.” Under the settlement, Google would have had the right to profit from books and not get permission from the copyright holders.

The judge did say that while a universal digital library would benefit many people, a substantially different agreement needed to be hammered out in order to get the court’s blessing, according to the newspaper.

The Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers sued Google in 2005 to stop the search engine maven’s book scanning project. While author and publisher groups worked with Google toward the settlement for more than two years, they found vocal opponents including Microsoft, Amazon, academics, authors, foreign governments and copyright experts, among others.