Justice Department Investigating Google Books Deal

Pulkit Chandna

Google had to go down on its knees, reach out for its checkbook and write a $125 million check to settle its legal disputes with authors and publishers, who had been opposing its Google Book Search service. The settlement has yet to receive court approval and that will not happen until October 7, 2009 – the date for the final hearing. But Google can be rest assured that there is going to be no dearth of hurdles during the intervening period.

The Justice Department has begun vetting the book-search deal for possible antitrust violations . The Justice Department’s lawyers have been busy discussing the matter with the deal’s opponents. Google has been appropriately apprised of the probe by the Justice Department.

Those opposed to the deal fear the settlement will make it Google’s prerogative to digitize "orphan books" which, though protected under U.S copyright law, have no well-defined copyright holder.

Image Credit: New Yorker

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