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Google Settlement revision due next month

Google, American publishers and the US Authors Guild have been given until next month to revise a book-scanning agreement for out of print titles and orphan works.

The Google Settlement was rejected by US judge Denny Chin in March, who said the plan to create a digital library "would give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyright works without permission, while releasing claims well beyond those presented in the case". Chin objected to the requirement for copyright owners to opt-out or be automatically included.

Tom Allen, president of the Association of American Publishers, said: "Since Judge Chin's rejection of the negotiated settlement agreement on 22nd March, the parties have held conversations to determine if a revised agreement is possible that would meet the court's objections. Those conversations are ongoing and if not successful, the litigation will resume in order to protect the intellectual property rights of authors and publishers."

In court yesterday, Chin set a hearing for 19th July for the parties to agree on a new settlement. Amazon, Microsoft and German and French publishers were among those who argued the agreement would give Google too much power over digitised works.

Megan Lamb, a spokesperson for Google, said: "We have been working closely with the authors and publishers to explore a number of options in response to the court's decision. Regardless of the outcome, we'll continue to make the world's books discoverable online through Google Books and Google e-books."