Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Courtney Nguyen


In this modern age, electronic readers, devices used to read digital copies of books, are fast saturating the market. The Google Books Library Project ("Project") is but one source of digital books, albeit a hotly contested one. Since inception the Project has encountered sundry problems, ranging from copyright disputes to accusations of monopoly and unfair competition. Though Google has settled with several author's groups, the legality of the Project and the resulting Settlement Agreement is still challenged.

This note posits that in light of the ongoing legal problems and other troubles the Project faces, a private settlement agreement is not the correct way to handle this situation. Given the scope of the settlement and the ramifications the agreement would have on publishers, consumers, and future digital content, the legislature is the more logical arbiter of the future of digital books. The note will also trace the history of the Project and the Settlement Agreement, paying special attention to the events leading up to the settlement and the testimony given before Congress on this issue.