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Weekly News Digest

December 21, 2009 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Library Associations Raise Google Book Search Pricing Concerns to DOJ

The American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) recently sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asking for ongoing judicial oversight of the Google Book Search settlement, if approved. (The letter is available at: http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/AntitrustdivASA-FINAL1.pdf)

The library associations urge the DOJ to request the court to review the pricing of the institutional subscriptions to ensure that the economic objectives set forth in the settlement agreement are met. Libraries, as the potential primary customers of institutional subscriptions, are concerned that the absence of competition could result in profit-maximizing pricing.

The associations also expressed disappointment with the DOJ's failure to urge the parties to the settlement, which include Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers, to require representation of academic authors on the Book Rights Registry board. As the groups explained in their filings with the court and in their meeting with the DOJ, academic authors wrote the vast majority of the books Google will include in its database. Without representation of academic authors, the Books Rights Registry may establish a pricing model that maximizes profit rather than public access to academic works.

Source: ARL



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