misinformation.jpgDavid Drummond is Google’s senior vice president for corporate development and chief legal officer. In an article about the Settlement published in the Guardian, Drummond states:

Some have questioned the impact of the agreement on competition, suggesting it will limit consumer choice and hand Google a monopoly. In reality, nothing in this agreement precludes any other organisation from pursuing its own digitisation efforts. … If we successful, others will follow. And they will have an easier path.

This is simply disingenuous, if not downright misleading. Google has used this line of reasoning before and it sounds pretty good to a public which does not understand the legal system. What Drummond should have said is this:

If Google succeeds with the Settlement then you must remember that the Settlement is just between Google, and only Google, and the class. If anyone else wants to try this then they also risk being sued for copyright infringement and the only way they can go ahead with their own digitization plans is to be sued for infringement by more authors and then go through a whole settlement process of their own.

Now you tell me, how many companies have the resources to go through this process? Very few. Once Google gets a Settlement approved it will, for all practical purposes, own the field.


  1. I don’t think he is being disingenuous at all.

    What he is saying is true.

    If the Google Settlement happens there will be a framework that others can follow – they’ll have a good idea as to what terms are considered acceptable.

    So yes…others will have it easier in that they’ll have an idea what the playing field looks like.

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