We are forwarding here updated correspondence from the Google Book Search Settlement Administrator regarding the settlement (Please click here to download the pdf of the supplemental notice). On November 19, 2009, the Court preliminarily approved the Amended Settlement Agreement. Please note the following dates: January 28, 2010 –the deadline to:
  • Opt out of the Google Book Settlement: If you have already opted out of the Original Settlement, and wish to remain opted out, you need not – and should not – opt out again. If you wish to opt out, your Opt Out Form must be submitted online or postmarked on or before January 28, 2010.
  • Opt back in to the Google Book Settlement: If you opted out of the Original Settlement and wish to opt back in, your Opt Back In Form must be submitted online or postmarked on or before January 28, 2010.
  • File an objection to the Amended Settlement: If you wish to object to the provisions amending the Original Settlement, your objection must be postmarked on or before January 28, 2010. You need not and should not refile your objection to the Original Settlement, which will be considered as previously filed. You may, however, withdraw your objection at any time prior to the date of the Fairness Hearing.
February 4, 2010
  • File notice of intent to appear at the Fairness Hearing: If you wish to appear in person at the Fairness Hearing on February 18, 2010, your notice of intent must be postmarked on or before February 4, 2010.
February 18, 2010
  • Fairness Hearing:  10:00 am in Courtroom 11A, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, United States Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10007
About the Google Books Settlement Authors and publishers filed a class action lawsuit against Google’s unauthorized digitization of in-copyright books. The proposed settlement provides:
  • Google with the authorization to scan in-copyright Books into their Google Books Search directory
  • Google the right to sell access to individual Books and institutional subscriptions for out-of-print and in-print Books (with permission from rights holders), as well as allow advertisements on any page dedicated to a Book and make other commercial uses of Books (again, as authorized by rights holders).
  • That Google will distribute royalties of  63% derived from all commercial uses of Books
  • the establishment of a Books Rights Registry to manage the rights and revenues of the scanning and commercial use of Books
  • that Google must pay $34.5 million to establish and fund the Registry
  • that Google must pay at least $45 million to the rights holders of books scanned without authorization prior to January 5, 2009 (this is approximately $60 per principal work, with only one payment for all editions)
How to Opt-out of the settlement By January 28, 2010, rights holders must decide whether to opt in or out of the settlement. You must only take action now if you are choosing to opt-out or to object to the settlement. You may opt out of the Settlement by:
  1. Going online on or before January 28, 2010 at http://www.googlebooksettlement.com , and following the instructions to opt out; or
  2. Sending written notice by First-Class Mail, postage prepaid, postmarked on or before January 28, 2010 to the Settlement Administrator, at:
Google Book Search Settlement Administrator c/o Rust Consulting PO Box 9364 Minneapolis, MN 55440-9364 The postmark will determine the time of mailing. You need not state your reason for opting out. However, your opt-out request must be signed or, if submitted online, completed by an authorized person; it must state which Sub-Class you wish to opt out of (either the Author Sub-Class or Publisher Sub-Class); and it must provide your name and address or, if you are an author’s agent, must provide the name of the Author Sub-Class member on whose behalf you are acting (i.e., the person whose name appears as the author of the Book or Insert) and any pseudonym used to author the Books, if applicable. To ensure that Google clearly understands which Books and/or Inserts may be implicated by a decision to opt out, members of the Publisher Sub-Class must identify all of the imprints under which they publish their Books. If you choose to opt-in, please note that you are then bound to all terms of the settlement, and cannot raise any further claims against Google regarding the unauthorized digitization of books prior to January 5, 2009. Opting in to the settlement, however, does not mean that you/Publishers will not be able to dictate the uses of your book(s) following the claim. This initial opt-in/out will determine your eligibility to receive your cash claim for prior unauthorized digitization. Following the court’s approval, you (in conjunction with your Publisher) will later be able to decide, through the Book Rights Registry: a) whether to have your book(s) scanned if they have not been so already b) to exclude your work from the Google Book Search database entirely  c) how much of the work (either in pages or percentage of book) will be visible in a preview of the book d) levels of access of use available (institutional subscriptions, consumer purchases, and public access through libraries) e) the price levels for access to your work (or allow Google to set the price based on a formula), as well as other terms not yet fully developed. You will at anytime be able to change these terms through the Registry. Please note that these terms will be enumerated in conjunction with your Publisher. Should you choose to opt-out at this time, you may still later pursue inclusion of your work in Google Books Search and the Books Rights Registry (but will not be compensated for prior unauthorized digitization). We have consulted with a lawyer, and while the decision to opt-in or out is ultimately up to you, we have not found any clear detriment to inclusion in the settlement at this time. In the coming months and years, however, it is crucial that we explore what this settlement, and digital rights, will mean for current and future agreements with Publishers, potential business models that result from digitization of books through Google, and the future of digital publishing. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We also encourage you to visit www.googlebooksettlement.com to find out more information and read the full legal notice.
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