Press Release

Congressional Hearing To Focus On Google Book Search


Wed, Sep 9, 2009 at 10:03 am

    The Google Book Search Settlement has taken yet another twist: in a
    last minute announcement, the House Judiciary Committee today posted
    notice that it would hold a hearing on “The Competition and Commerce in
    Digital Books” or, in other words, the Google Book Search Settlement,
    on Thursday, September 10, at 10 am. News of tomorrow’s hearing was
    posted today—but clearly the hearing has been in the works for some
    time, as it has an extensive witness list, including two of the Google
    Book Search Settlement’s principal parties, as well as opponents and
    proponents. Curiously, there is no witness from the publishing or
    library communities. The witness list includes:


    With the hearing, the Google Book Search settlement has now hit the
    trifecta—all three branches of government are involved: the Judiciary
    is overseeing the settlement; the Executive, via the Department of
    Justice, is looking at antitrust issues; and now Congress, which brings
    the widest possible government scope from which to address potential
    issues with book digitization. It is unclear, however, why Congress is
    now concerned with the settlement just weeks before the court is set to
    consider approval of the deal. There is no related bill or measure
    before them to consider, and Congress has shown little interest in the
    settlement to date. 
    Although Congress’ intentions may not be clear, Judiciary Committee
    Chairman, John Conyers (D-MI) does have a history of guarding his
    committee’s turf closely—turf which includes copyright and intellectual
    property issues. In 2008, Conyers introduced the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act,
    a sweeping, publisher-supported bill that would ban public access
    measures similar to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) open access
    mandate, a measure passed via an appropriations bill. Last year,
    Conyers (D-MI) lashed out at the House Appropriations Committee, telling CongressDaily
    that he was frustrated by its refusal to engage repeated questions from
    his committee about the copyright and intellectual property
    implications associated with the NIH mandate. Conyers fumed that
    appropriators acted “summarily, unilaterally and probably incorrectly”
    in enacting the NIH mandate without his consultation, and suggested the
    mandate encroached on his committee’s “sacred turf.”


    Leave a Reply

    Celine Handbagsceline purseceline bag priceceline luggageceline taschenceline clutchceline onlinecheap ray ban sunglasses