3 Count: Googled News

3 Count: Googled News ImageHave a suggestion for the 3 Count? Let me know via Twitter @plagiarismtoday.

1: Judge Rejects Amazon Bid to Scrap Google Pact

First off today, the revised Google Book Search settlement has survived yet another, albeit small, hurdle. The judge in the case has rejected a bid by Amazon to throwout his preliminary approval, telling the Web giant to make its case at the already-scheduled February 18 fairness hearing.

The original settlement, shot down by the Department of Justice due to antitrust concerns, would have ended a lawsuit between Google, the Author’s Guild and various publishers over their Google Book Search tool. The original settlement would have allowed Google to scan, display and even sell copies of in-copyright but out-of-print works provided authors and publishers were remunerated. The revised settlement removed some language promising Google the best deal possible and limited the scope of the settlement to plaintiff countries. It also created a new organization to collect money on behalf of authors who had not yet been located.

With this rejection it appears to be full speed ahead for the Feb 18 fairness hearing, where the revised settlement will be tested and, possibly, put into action. There is no word yet though if the DOJ has objections with the new settlement and feedback on it from previous critics has been mixed.

2: Web Giants Unite Against Digital Britain Copyright Plan

Next up today, Google, Facebook, eBay and Yahoo have all joined forces to protest a controversial clause in the UK’s new “Digital Britain” proposed legislation. Specifically, they are opposed to “Clause 17”, which would give the Secretary of State the power to amend copyright law within certain boundaries.

The Internet companies feel that it is so broad it could endanger “legitimate consumer use of current technology as well as future developments” The government says that the clause has significant limitations placed on it and that it will not be a radical shift in copyright law.

The Digital Britain legislation is an attempt to “future proof” the country’s copyright laws but also deals with other aspects of the Web including providing high-speed access, converting to digital radio and shifting government responsibilities on infrastructure-related matters.

The bill, introduced during the Queen’s Speech earlier this month, is scheduled to have its second reading in the House of Lords today, the second of many such readings.

3: Placating Publishers by Limiting Links: A Google 5-Click FAQ

Finally today, Google has made a change to its “First Click Free” program that many newspapers participate in. The changes will allow Google searchers to click on only five links on participating news sites before being prompted to register, either for free or paid.

The First Click Free program is a partnership with newspapers and other major content providers through Google News. Ordinarilly, Google works against cloaking, the act of showing the Google bot one thing and visitors another. However, the program allows newspapers to lock down their content by providing the first click for free. This means any click from a Google result opens up a working link, but any click elsewhere on the site shows a reminder to register.

However, concerns over abuse have plagued the system, prompting Google to offer newspapers a system to restrict visitors to five free clicks if desired. Interested newspapers who are participating in Google News should contact Google about the program.


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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