GBS: Watch This Space

My students and I are at work on a summary document that will taxonomize the various objections to Settlement 1.0 and then describe, in brief, which ones of them Settlement 2.0 tries to address, and how. We’re also trying to figure out how best to put Settlement 2.0 on the Public Index to foster discussion. Plus we have a few more surprises up our sleeves that we’re pretty jazzed about. We should have some exciting stuff to announce in over the next couple of weeks.


There are some areas of the settlement that affect libraries that don’t get much attention, but that I find worrisome.

First, it seems odd to me that there would be specific language in the settlement about libraries that is not directly related to the purpose of the settlement. In other words, anything not having to do with the digitizing of library-owned books.

Next, the secretive nature of the negotiations makes it very difficult to understand who, apart from Google and plaintiffs, was involved in the negotiations. Again, it seems odd to me that third-parties would be involved (and by that I mean anyone who is not a participating library), yet there is some evidence that there were such parties.

In particular, many of us in the library world are puzzled about the definition of “Consortium” in the settlement. See the Lyrasis objections: The general agreement in the library world is that limiting consortial discounts to members of this one “interest group” is unjustified. It is neither comprehensive nor representative.

So my question to you and your students is: is it appropriate to have third-parties involved in the negotiations? And is there any recourse on the part of those who are not involved (other than filing objections)?


My understanding is that others are only welcome in the negotiations by invitation of the parties, and that third parties who aren’t involved are expected to voice their concerns, if any, by filing objections to the results of the negotiations.

See the New Zealand blog Beatties Book Blog for articles from the UK publication Bookseller (you need to search the site for “Google” to find the relevant items). These provide glimpses into the behind-the-scenes negotiations between UK publishers and Google prior to the current settlement. Also see earlier posts on the same blog displaying letters from NZ branches of multinational publishers (at least some of whom are AAP members) urging their authors to opt in (and in the process indicating that such publishers are under great pressure from their corporate masters to get their authors to comply with Google’s masterplan).