Five U.S. Attorneys General Object to Google Deal
Several U.S. attorneys general have expressed negative opinions of the proposed settlement between Google and the Authors Guild.
MarketWatch this week reports that five U.S. state legal advisors from Missouri, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Washington have filed briefings opposing the Google Book deal. The news comes as rumors begin to circulate that claim Google is altering the deal to try and appease the Department of Justice's antitrust division.
The deal between Google and the Authors Guild would see the former establish the Books Rights Registry where authors could register and receive a cut of the revenue garnered from ads and sales of books. However, while Google would be paying copyright holders, the registry would keep proceeds for orphan works where the copyright holder could no be located.
The five states argue that doing so would circumvent state unclaimed property laws, which can carry significant penalties of up to 10,000 and up to a year in jail. MarketWatch cites Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster who argues that state law requires that "abandoned" property be deposited with the state treasurer. Koster's brief went on to point out that American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers regularly pay into state funds when copyright holders can't be found.
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