Global Trade Talk: Europeans Balk at Untranslated Google Settlement

In Global Trade Talk, News by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary and Ed Nawotka

The Börsenverein, along with numerous other European publishers, associations and international publishers, has put together a statement of objections against the Google Settlement. summarizes the statement, which notes that the complicated 334-page Settlement was never made available in foreign languages for foreign class members to review. The objecting parties also point out that the Settlement violates the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, which is meant to protect foreign rights holders, even if their works were never published in the United States.

Publishers Lunch offers this run down of Europeans who have filed objections:

“Sweden’s Norstedts (with potentially 20,000 out of print titles), Studentlitteratur, and Leopard; Germany’s Harrassowitz; and South African holding company Media24 (with approximately 15,000 out of print titles) filed in opposition, as did the publishers’ associations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Sweden. Additionally, US attorneys for the Federal Republic of Germany filed a long challenge to the agreement, saying it ‘cannot adequately and fairly represent’ German authors and publishers (neither of whom are allowed to join the Authors Guild or the AAP), and there was a separate filing made by a division of the Federal Ministry of Justice in Germany. (A group representing approximately 100 Japanese publishers objected earlier in the summer.)”

About the Author

Siobhan O'Leary

Siobhan O’Leary is a literary agent, translator and writer based in Berlin. She previously worked in the Foreign Rights department of the Crown Publishing Group (Random House) and at the publishing consulting firm Market Partners International.