Friday, September 04, 2009

As deadline is extended for Google objections, today's pot and kettle award goes to

As the deadline for objections to the proposed Google settlement is extended by a few days to Tuesday 8th September, today's pot and kettle award goes to

In a 50 page legal document filed on September 1st, Amazon said the agreement was "unfair"to rights holders as it gave Google "an effective monopoly" over scanned works that would create "a cartel of authors and publishers". It also questioned the legitimacy of the "class action" and warned the court that it was being asked "to exercise powers that it does not have" stating that the agreement "restrains competition in ways that ought not be sanctioned by this court".

I detect a large slice of mirroring in relation to Amazon's own actions last year when they effectively forced US print on demand publishers to use their own printers or have their buy buttons removed.

Amazon state in relation to the proposed settlement:

"It is anti-competitive and violates anti trust laws because it provides Google an effective monopoly in the scanning and exploitation of millions of works whose copyright holders cannot be located or choose not to involve themselves in this class action."

"It also creates a cartel of authors and publishers - the Books Rights Registry - operating with virtually no restrictions on its actions, with the potential to raise book prices and reduce output to the detriment of consumers and new authors or publishers who would compete with the cartel members."

In Amazon's favour, it is true that they have only scanned books where permission has been obtained from the rights holders, but I cannot help feel that these are empty words from a retailer that bemoans others from basically doing what they have done themselves - what the hell they feel like! I am not the only one to notice this, since the Authors Guild in the US have published a letter online accusing the retailer of what they term as "breathtaking hypocrisy".

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