Like a heavy weight boxer in the ring taking a few well-targeted blows to the head, Google continues to defend its position and the strengths of the Google Books Settlement, while at the same time clarifying detailed points and casting out its own interpretation and concessions to the gathered crowds.
Yesterday, at the US congressional hearing on the settlement, Google confirmed that it intended to allow online retailers access to their database of out-of-print digital books. These retailers would be able to resell and keep ‘more than half’ of the proceeds from any sale after the deduction of the 67% share paid first to authors and publishers.
Gary Reback, an antitrust lawyer, representing a coalition of opponents to the deal, argued that this offer changed nothing in principal. ‘Other retailers will sell them, but Google will set the price at retail, so nothing changes. They still retain control, that’s the objectionable part–it would just extend their monopoly.’
The US Department of Justice will file its report and opinion on the settlement next Friday with the Federal District Court and Judge Denny Chin who is currently reviewing the submission of objections received this week.