New Open Book Alliance criticizes Google settlement

Diverse Coalition Unites To Counter Google Book Settlement, Open Book Alliance, press release, August 26, 2009.

Librarians, legal scholars, authors, publishers, and technology companies today announced the formation of a coalition – the Open Book Alliance – that will counter the proposed Google Book Settlement in its current form. …

“Just as Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press more than 700 years ago ushered in a new era of knowledge sharing, the mass digitization of books promises to once again revolutionize how we read and discover books,” said Open Book Alliance co-chairs Peter Brantley and Gary Reback in a blog post. “But a digital library controlled by a single company and small group of colluding publishers would inevitably lead to higher prices and subpar service for consumers, libraries, scholars, and students.”

“The public interest demands that any mass book digitization and distribution effort be undertaken in the open, grounded in sound public policy, and mindful of the need to promote long-term benefits for consumers rather than those of a few commercial interests,” continued Brantley and Reback.

Brantley is a director of the non-profit Internet Archive and Reback is a noted antitrust attorney who serves of counsel at the firm Carr & Ferrell, LLP.

The Open Book Alliance will work to inform policymakers and the public about the serious legal, competitive, and policy issues in the settlement proposal. Members of the Alliance include:

See also our forthcoming follow-up post for more on the Open Book Alliance.