SoA sends US court clarification on Google

<p>The Society of Authors has written a clarification note to the New York district court following its submission in support of the revised Google Settlement. Some authors had criticised the submission, which stated that while some members were making formal objections, &quot;the great majority seem to take the view that overall it contains potentially significant benefits&quot;.</p><p>It concluded the settlement offered a &quot;reasonable and practical way forward&quot;. Writers opposed to the settlement complained that the Society of Authors should have conducted a full consultation with its members.</p><p>In a note on the SoA website, the authors&#39; body said it had now confirmed to the court that the sentences refer to &quot;members who have been in contact with the society since the settlement was first announced in late 2008&quot;. General-secretary Mark Le Fanu said the clarification letter had been sent in case the meaning in the first submission had been ambiguous. </p><p>Meanwhile, industry figures expressed mixed feelings about the Google fairness hearing, which will be held next week (18th February). Anthony Goff, newly elected president of the Association of Authors&#39; Agents, said: &quot;Will it be an important moment? We don&#39;t know. Those of us who don&#39;t like the terms are torn because the prospect of having [the settlement] thrown back and forward for 10 years is vaguely attractive as it would kick it into touch. At the same time everyone wants it put to bed so we don&#39;t have to talk about it any more and can get on with other things.&quot; Le Fanu said: &quot;I think it will run and run.&quot;</p><p>Google this week defended the amended settlement for its Book Search programme, claiming it was legal and &quot;a contribution to human knowledge&quot;. Google added: &quot;With only one significant exception, the parties sought to implement every suggestion the United States (Justice Department) made in its September submission. The exception - the opt-out clause, which means all authors&#39; works that have been digitised are included in the settlement unless they specifically elect not to - has been retained because finding all the authors &quot;would eviscerate the purposes&quot; of the settlement, Google said. Ealier in the week the DoJ admitted it still had concerns over the new deal.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>