The Court has handed down its final order, and here is the short answer:
Before the Court is plaintiffs' motion pursuant, to RuleTip of the OOTJ hat to Judith Wright for passing the tip along.
23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for final approval of
the proposed settlement of this class action on the terms set
forth in the Amended Settlement Agreement (the "ASA"). The
question presented is whether the ASA is fair, adequate, and
reasonable. I conclude that it is not.
While the digitization of books and the creation of a
universal digital library would benefit many, the ASA would
simply go too far. It would permit this class action -- which
was brought against defendant Google Inc. ("Google") to challenge
its scanning of books and display of "snippets" for on-line
searching -- to implement a forward-looking business arrangement
that would grant Google significant rights to exploit entire
books, without permission of the copyright owners. Indeed, the
ASA would give Google a significant advantage over competitors,
rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted
works without permission, while releasing claims well beyond
those presented in the case.
Accordingly, and for the reasons more fully discussed
below, the motion for final approval of the ASA is denied. The
accompanying motion for attorneys' fees and costs is denied,