Graphic Artists Guild Files Objections to Google Books Settlement
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NEW YORK — The Graphic Artists Guild joined several other visual arts rights holders’ trade groups and prominent individual photographers in filing objections to the $125 million class action settlement with Google Books for copyright infringement. The papers filed with the New York District Court last Wednesday seek to deny approval of the settlement, throw out an earlier complaint that excluded artists from settlement terms and request a new legal counsel and class representative be appointed to represent the interests of those filing the objections in the matter.
“After hearing the particulars of this settlement at the intellectual property conference where the agreement was announced,” Guild President John Schmelzer said, “I asked the Authors Guild’s attorney whose pocket the visual artists share would be coming out of — the writers’ and publishers’, or Google’s, and which of the parties would we have to sue to get that share. The answer appears to be that there was no consideration given to the visual components of the copied material in the settlement. All parties should be ashamed.”
The settlement provides $45 million for the establishment of a Book Rights Registry that will collect and pay revenues for the use of work of those included in the agreement. Classes not named in the settlement, such as artists and photographers, would not be eligible for this compensation mechanism.