Hachette objects to Google Settlement

<p>Hachette UK and its parent company Hachette Livre have objected to the Google Settlement, urging the US court to reject the proposals because they would have &quot;significant unfair and inequitable effects . . . on all non-US authors and publishers&quot;.</p><p>Hachette UK is one of 10 Hachette Livre companies to make an objection, but the list of objectors does not include Hachette US. Hachette UK is believed to be the only UK publisher to have objected to the deal. </p><p>In a court filing made 8th September, the last day in which opposition could be made, Hachette Livre said it had 10 &quot;material objections&quot;, describing the potential fallout from the settlement as &quot;illegal, unfair and inequitable&quot;. </p><p>These included not taking into account non-US interests, not giving enough notice to non-US rightsholders of the settlement, that what is being proposed would violate the Bern Convention and that it was &quot;incompatible&quot; with European principles of authors&#39; rights.</p><p>It also claimed the proposals violate contracts under French law, and that it violated two articles of the EC, which make it firstly &quot;null and void&quot; within EU territory, and secondly constitute abuse of Google&#39;s &quot;dominant market position&quot;.</p><p>Hachette warned that by settling the matter through US courts alone, to the exclusion of other countries&#39; judicial systems and market forces, it would allow &quot;a sweeping transfer of rights from current rights holders worldwide to Google&quot;.</p><p>The company also argued against the format of the settlement, which precludes class members from suing Google, &quot;thereby releasing Google and others from liability for future conduct, which would otherwise constitute copyright infringement&quot;. Hachette said it was an unprecendented move, and improper, to &quot;impose&quot; this settlement through a judicial process.</p><p>In an interview with French newspaper <em>Le Figaro</em> earlier this week Hachette Livre chief executive Arnaud Nourry denied that it was contradictory to accept the draft settlement as an American publisher and to reject it as a French publisher. He said: &quot;The draft settlement in the United States is consistent . . . with the American publishing legal context and has the advantage of ending heavy lawyers&#39; fees in that country. But . . . the draft contravenes literary and artistic property law in Europe. I have no problems with this. Moreover, the British and Spanish publishers in the Hachette Livre group have adopted the same stance.&quot; </p><p>&nbsp;</p>