Following more than a month of renegotiation, the Authors Guild and Google handed in a revised version of the Google Books settlement to U.S. District Judge Denny Chin on Friday the thirteenth.
According to the NY Times, only books from United States, Britain, Australia or Canada can be included in Google’s efforts to digitize millions of books under the new settlement. In addition the new settlement has created an “independent fiduciary” who will decide how Google can handle “orphan works”– books where the original copyright holder cannot be determined. This week Judge Chin will decide about the upcoming fairness hearing, a repeatedly postponed event that will determine if the settlement will stand.
Here’s more about the independent fiduciary, from the article: “The trustee, with Congressional approval, can grant licenses to other companies who also want to sell these books, and will oversee the pool of unclaimed funds that they generate. If the money goes unclaimed for 10 years, according to the revised settlement, it will go to philanthropy and to an effort to locate rights holders.”