Google Settlement could create 'diplomatic stress', claims OBA

<p>The Open Book Alliance has warned parts of the Google Settlement could lead to legal action taken against the US by foreign governments and &quot;will certainly expose the US to diplomatic stress&quot;.</p><p>The alliance, which includes commercial organisations such as Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo!, as well as bodies such as the National Writers Union, New York Library Association and Science FIction and Fantasy Writers of America and campaigns against the settlement, <a href="http://www.openbookalliance.org/2010/05/the-gbs-makes-for-angry-neighbors/" target="_blank">submitted this as part of an 18-page analysis of the settlement.</a> It was written by Cynthia Arato, partner at the law firm of Macht, Shapiro, Arato and Isseries, and described by the alliance as &quot;a prominent litigator on intellectual property and copyright issues&quot;.</p><p>In her note, Arato warned that as it stands, the settlement would violate &quot;two of the most important international copyright treaties&quot; - the Berne Convention and the World Trade Organization&#39;s agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). </p><p>She said: &quot;It would do so by imposing many of its most burdensome provisions on foreign rights holders who are not nationals of the United Kingdom, Canada or Australia &ndash; three countries whose nationals are unfairly given special treatment under the settlement.&quot; </p><p>Arato said the inclusion of these three countries within the settlement had originally been explained by their common legal heritage and book industry practices. However, she added that in Google&#39;s final submission the countries had been included because unlike other foreign countries &ldquo;rightsholder organizations in those countries generally were supportive of the Settlement&quot;. </p><p>On its website, the OBA concluded that as a result<a href="http://www.openbookalliance.org/2010/05/the-gbs-makes-for-angry-neighbors/" target="_blank"> &quot;foreign nations that wish to challenge the US over treaty violations of the settlement may do so before the World Trade Organization</a>&quot;, highlighting the objections already raised by governments in France and Germany.</p><p>Judge Denny Chin is expected to give a formal response shortly, as he was recently approved to become a member of the senate. </p>