NEW YORK, September 25, 2009 – The National Writers Union today issued the following statement in response to the Department of Justice filing in the Google Book Settlement:
The Department of Justice has recommended that the United States District Court reject the proposed Google Book Settlement. The Department found that the settlement should be rejected on the grounds that it violated anti-trust laws, that it would lead to copyright infringement, and that the Authors Guild did not properly represent the class of authors. In response to this, the parties to the agreement asked for and were granted a postponement of the October 7 fairness hearing. National Writers Union President Larry Goldbetter stated, “We support the Department of Justice recommendation and call on the Authors Guild to withdraw from the current settlement, so that they can join in new negotiations with the many voices that have up to now been excluded.”
“The proposed settlement was simply unacceptable,” he said. “It upends copyright law, is an abuse of the class-action process, and is a bad deal for writers.” For the proposed settlement to be fair and comply with the law, fundamental changes are necessary. This can only happen with the input of those who opposed the settlement – including authors, libraries, independent publishers, consumer advocates, state attorneys general, the Justice Department, and Congress.
Goldbetter said, “We look forward to working with all affected parties to shape a new agreement, one that upholds copyright law and serves the interests of all readers and writers.”