Friday, 3 July 2009

Google Books antitrust probe to go ahead

Google's $125,000,000 book-scanning settlement is to be investigated by U.S. antitrust legislators, according to Bloomberg. The Register reports that
deputy attorney general William F. Cavanaugh sent a letter to the federal judge overseeing the proposed settlement, saying that the deal may run afoul of US antitrust laws. "The United States has reviewed public comments expressing concern that aspects of the settlement agreement may violate the Sherman Act," Cavanaugh wrote.
At the centre of the probe will be the issue of the so-called "orphan works" - books whose rights are controlled by authors and publishers who have ceased to exist or cannot otherwise be located.

1 comment:

Eric Dickens said...

The outcome of this will set an interesting precedent. It does seem rather obvious, even to a legal layman like me, that if a huge multinational with information tentacles everywhere starts buying up a specific type of product ("orphans" in this case) it is moving in the direction of monopoly. I shall look up the Sherman Act on the internet.