Wednesday, September 09, 2009

11th-Hour Filings Oppose Google’s Book Settlement - NYTimes.com

It’ll be fascinating to see how this plays out

On Tuesday, several groups filed briefs in opposition, including Microsoft and Yahoo, and a coalition representing those companies and others. The coalition, which calls itself the Open Book Alliance, opposes the agreement on antitrust grounds. The group is co-led by Gary Reback, an antitrust attorney in Silicon Valley who in the 1990s helped persuade the Justice Department to file its landmark antitrust case against Microsoft. He said the court could address some of the antitrust objections by forcing Google to license its database of digital books to others.

“Google should be ordered to license the database with all attendant rights to a number of competitors, under the supervision of the Justice Department,” Mr. Reback wrote in the brief. He traced the birth of Silicon Valley to a similar “compulsory license” mandated by the Justice Department. “Silicon Valley exists precisely because the Antitrust Division ordered AT&T to license its key invention, the transistor, for nominal payments,” he wrote.

11th-Hour Filings Oppose Google’s Book Settlement - NYTimes.com

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