The American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) today filed comments with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for the judge to consider in his ruling on the proposed Google Book Search Settlement. The associations asked the judge to exercise vigorous oversight of the interpretation and implementation of the settlement to ensure the broadest possible benefit from the services the settlement enables.
Representing over 139,000 libraries and 350,000 librarians, the associations filed the brief as members of the plaintiff class because they are both authors and publishers of books. The associations asserted that although the settlement has the potential to provide public access to millions of books, many of the features of the settlement, including the absence of competition for the new services, could compromise fundamental library values including equity of access to information, patron privacy and intellectual freedom. The court can mitigate these possible negative effects by regulating the conduct of Google and the Book Rights Registry the settlement establishes.