PA chief: no need for 'Google law'

<p>Publishers Association chief executive Simon Juden has said Europe does not need to change its copyright laws governing so-called &quot;orphan works&quot;&mdash;books where no rights-holder can be traced.</p><p>Juden could be about to face what would amount to the fifth major review of copyright law since he joined the PA two and a half years ago, after the two relevant European commissioners, who this week hosted an inquiry into the Google Settlement, called on Europe to &quot;turn over a new e-leaf on digital books and copyright&quot;, or risk harming the continent&#39;s culture.</p><p>The two commissioners advocated a solution which would offer every citizen access to &quot;books that today lie hidden on dusty shelves&quot;, something Google is close to realising in the US after it digitised millions of books without prior permission.</p><p>Juden said there was &quot;sufficient infrastructure [around orphan works] in Europe&quot;, citing reproduction rights organisations and the Arrow Project, launched last December, which is seeking to clarify the status of orphan works. </p><p>Speaking at the hearing, Juden played down the role Google could have in fulfilling the commissioners&#39; requirements: &quot;We don&#39;t need a settlement to allow reasonable access to orphan works. Google is a partner for many publishers and may certainly have a role to play alongside other service providers. But any EU solution must create an open market&mdash;this will bring best value to the consumer.&quot;</p><p>Earlier in the week Google moved to quell fears over the deal by stating that it would regard books in print in Europe as &quot;commercially available&quot; under the settlement, moving the onus back on Google rather than the rights-holder. It also acceded to demands to have European representation on the Book Rights Registry.</p><p>Nevertheless, the New York court that will decide the fate of the Google Settlement faced a barrage of last-minute objections to the settlement itself, including submissions from Microsoft, Yahoo, France, and Hachette Livre. </p><p>Hachette, supported by its UK subsidiary, argued that the proposals would have &quot;significant unfair and inequitable effects &#8232;. . . on all non-US authors and publishers&quot;. Microsoft said: &quot;monopolisation [was] the wrong means to carry out the worthy goal of digitising and increasing the accessibility of books&quot;.<br />&nbsp;</p>