October 20, 2014

Judge Dismisses Authors’ Lawsuit Against Google Books

In what analysts are describing as a big win for scholars and libraries, federal circuit court judge Denny Chin today dismissed a lawsuit against Google brought by the Authors Guild claiming that the company had violated copyrights by digitizing millions of books and making short samples of the works available via its Google Books service. In the decision, Chin stated that Google Books provided “significant public benefits,” and that the digitized works were protected by the principle of fair use.

Macmillan Settles Ebook Price-Fixing Suit

Macmillan Settles Ebook Price-Fixing Suit

Macmillan on Friday became the last of five major publishers to settle a lawsuit over the pricing of ebooks originally filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and 15 states in April 2012. In an email addressed to “Authors, Illustrators and Agents” Macmillan CEO John Sargent wrote that he believed the company had done nothing wrong and could still win the case, but the risk of losing the legal battle had become too high.

Free Library of Philadelphia Resolves NOOK Accessibility Lawsuit

Free Library of Philadelphia Resolves NOOK Accessibility Lawsuit

The Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) this week settled the lawsuit filed against it in May by four blind patrons assisted by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Under the terms of the settlement, FLP has agreed to supplement its collection of more than 60 NOOKs with ten accessible devices, according to a press announcement from the NFB. Within four years, the library will transition to a collection of e-readers that are all accessible to the blind, and will begin incorporating an accessibility requirement into its technology procurement contracts.

Update: Publishers Agree To $69 Million Settlement For Ebook Buyers

Pending the approval of U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, $69 million will be awarded to consumers who purchased agency-priced ebooks between April 2010 and May 2012, as part of a proposed settlement of a state antitrust suit filed against HarperCollins, Hachette SA, and Simon & Schuster. Led by the Attorneys General of Connecticut and Texas, 49 states (excluding Minnesota) and 5 U.S. territories had accused the publishers of conspiring to fix ebook prices.

Simon & Schuster Reaches Antitrust Settlement with States

Simon & Schuster has settled the ebook price-fixing suit brought by various state attorney generals, according to CNET.

Georgia State Copyright Case: What You Need To Know—and What It Means for E-Reserves

One of the most closely watched e-reserve cases in recent memory came to an end—though an appeal is still possible—on May 11, when Judge Orinda Evans of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ruled in Cambridge University Press (CUP); Oxford University Press (OUP); Sage Publications v. Georgia State University (GSU). The case alleged copyright infringement in GSU’s e-reserves, and in essence the judge came down on the side of libraries in a 350-page decision delivered almost a year after she heard closing arguments.

Judge Denies Publishers, Apple, Stay of Civil Suit; More States Join Antitrust Filing

U.S. District Court judge Denise Cote denied a motion by Apple, Penguin, and Macmillian to dismiss a civil class action suit that alleges Apple and the major publishers colluded to set ebook prices. The-56 page court document explains the standard of proof Judge Cote applied, saying that the court “may not properly dismiss a complaint […]

Google, Author’s Guild Clash Over Class Action and Standing

Judge Chin heard oral argument in the Google Books case on May 4 and ultimately reserved decision. The parties will go ahead with their summary judgment motions, with oral argument scheduled for September. According to New York Law  School professor James Grimmelmann’s Labortorium blog, Google argued that individual authors, not the Author’s Guild, should be […]

Blind Patrons Sue Philly Library for Loaning Inaccessible Nooks

Four blind patrons of the Free Library of Philadelphia, with the assistance of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), filed suit against the Library in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on May 2 because of a program that loans Nook Simple Touch ereaders to patrons over 50. Unlike some […]

Hathi Trust, Library Associations Dispute Author’s Guild Motion

On April 20 the Hathi Trust filed a motion opposing the Author’s Guild’s latest move in the ongoing lawsuit between the two, in which the Guild filed for partial judgment on the pleadings on February 28. The Trust said the Guild’s argument defied common sense as well as Congressional intent in denying that libraries, like […]