Archive | September, 2009

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DOJ Urges Changes To Google Book Deal

By NATIONAL JOURNAL (Congress Daily)

19. September 2009

The
Open Book Alliance, a group formed by interests who oppose the current
settlement plan, said it was pleased with DOJ’s action. Making books
searchable, readable and downloadable can unlock huge amounts of
cultural knowledge but the arrangement as drafted is the wrong way to
go about making that promise a reality, the group said. One of Google’s
chief critics, a nonprofit called Consumer Watchdog, said even if DOJ’s
concerns are addressed, the settlement should not be implemented.

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U.S. Urges Court To Reject Google Book Deal

By REUTERS

18. September 2009

John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog said he was pleased with the filing. "As the Justice brief makes clear, the proposed class-action
settlement is monumentally overbroad and invites the court to overstep
its legal jurisdiction, to the detriment of consumers and the public,"
Simpson said in an email.

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Press Release

Consumer Watchdog Praises Department Of Justice Action In Google Books Case, Warns Major Issues Including Lack Of Privacy Guarantees Remain Problematic

CONTACT: cell 310 292-1902

18. September 2009

SANTA MONICA, CA — Consumer Watchdog praised the U.S. Justice
Department for objecting to the proposed Google Books settlement in a
brief the department filed in U.S. District Court tonight. The nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer group had asked the Justice
Department to intervene in the case on antitrust grounds last April.
Justice announced it was investigating in July. Justice’s objections
tonight went beyond antitrust concerns.

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DOJ: Court Should Reject Google Book Search Settlement

By COMPUTERWORLD

18. September 2009

The U.S. Department of Justice has come out against the proposed
agreement to settle copyright lawsuits that authors and major
publishers filed against Google over the search company’s book search
program. Consumer Watchdog, a
consumer protection organization that earlier this year urged the DOJ
to get involved, filed a 30-page document opposing the agreement,
saying it will "strip rights from millions of absent class members,
worldwide, in violation of national and international copyright law,
for the sole benefit of Google. There should be a competitive book-search market, while the U.S.
Congress must solve the orphan works problem. The parties simply cannot justify this ‘solution’ which does not
adequately protect the Rightsholders and unfairly benefits a single
party," reads the Consumer Watchdog statement.

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DOJ: Google’s Book Settlement Needs Rewrite

By CNET NEWS

18. September 2009

The U.S. Department of Justice late Friday urged the court overseeing Google’s book search settlement with authors and publishers to reject the settlement in its current form, although it strongly hinted that the parties are flexible on certain provisions.

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Google Said To Be Modifying Google Book Search For DOJ

By EWEEK.COM

17. September 2009

Consumer advocate group Consumer Watchdog asked the DOJ to enforce this offer. Privacy advocates oppose the deal because they believe Google will collect too much info on users without proper precautions to protect readers’ privacy.

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Press Release

Consumer Watchdog Tells Justice Any Google Deal Must Include Means Of Enforcement

CONTACT: 310-292-1902 or Carmen Balber 202-629-3043

16. September 2009

WASHINGTON, DC —  Any plan offered by Google meant to overcome
objections to the proposed Google Books settlement must include a
“binding agreement with the full force of law,” Consumer Watchdog told
the U.S. Justice Department today. Justice has until Friday to file
its position on the books settlement with the court.

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Google Strives To Build Biggest Online Library

By THE WASHINGTON TIMES

15. September 2009

Internet-search giant Google is making conciliatory gestures in an effort to blunt mounting opposition to a copyright deal that is the foundation of its plan to build the biggest online library, Google Books.  Urging the court to reject the Google Books deal, Consumer Watchdog, a
consumer group, said last week the proposed settlement conflicts with
international copyright treaties such as the Berne Convention for the
Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. It "would strip rights from
millions of absent-class members worldwide, for the sole benefit of
Google," referring to authors and publishers who did not or could not
opt out of the deal between Google and the Guild for the Google Book
Search.

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Google Books Settlement Facing Scrutiny

By CONSUMERAFFAIRS.COM

13. September 2009

Concerns center on possible monopoly, invasion of privacy
 

John M. Simpson of Consumer Watchdog,
a California-based non-profit, said a key problem is the unfair
competitive advantage Google receives under the settlement that comes
from its attempt to pull an end-run around the appropriate legislative solution
to the orphan books problem. “This is not an issue for a court and
certainly one that cannot be settled by solving the problem for one
large corporation and no one else,” he said in testimony before the
House Judiciary Committee last week.

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Blog Post

DC Dispatch: The week in review

Posted by

13. September 2009

Things got busy fast this week in DC as Congress returned from the month-long summer break.



Finance committee chair Sen. Max Baucus released his long-awaited health reform proposal on Tuesday after months of closed-door meetings…

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Lawmakers Created Google Settlement Mess, But Some Urge Staying Out Of It

By WASHINGTON INTERNET DAILY

11. September 2009

By failing to pass orphan works legislation in previous sessions, Congress practically guaranteed a messy settlement would result from Google’s scanning and display of millions of out-of-print works found only in libraries, several lawmakers said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday. Consumer Watchdog’s John M. Simpson, perhaps Google’s most vocal
nonprofit critic in Washington, said the settlement "simply furthers
the relatively narrow agenda" of Google, the Authors Guild and
Association of American Publishers. Congress should pass orphan-works
or fair-use legislation, so Google won’t get an "unprecedented
monopolistic advantage" over some books.

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Press Release

Consumer Watchdog Backs Digital Libraries, Opposes Google Books Settlement Deal

CONTACT: cell 310 292-1902 or Carmen Balber 202 629-3043

10. September 2009

Testimony Says Deal Violates Law, Is Anti-Competitive And Raises Privacy Concerns

WASHINGTON, DC — The proposed Google Books settlement should be
rejected because it is anticompetitive, violates both U.S. and
international law and raises substantial threats to privacy, Consumer
Watchdog’s John M. Simpson told the House Judiciary Committee today.

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Official: Book Settlement Makes ‘Mockery’ Of Copyright Law

By IDG NEWS SERVICE

10. September 2009

Google’s proposed book settlement with book authors and publishers, allowing the company to digitize and sell millions of books, makes a "mockery" of copyright protections in the U.S. Constitution, the head of the U.S. Copyright Office said Thursday. The settlement would give Google an "unlawful and inappropriate"
monopoly and strips away the rights of copyright holders worldwide,
added John Simpson, a consumer advocate with Consumer Watchdog.
"The deal simply furthers the relatively narrow agenda of Google, the
Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers," he said.

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