In the wake of a very recent French court decision regarding Google’s privacy protections in Europe, it seems an even larger defeat was just dealt to the Google Books Search. Judge Danny Chin (for the last time in his court?) rejected the settlement between Google Books and the various parties that had been suing.
If you’d like to see the text of the decision, you may do so here; James Grimmelman has a detailed analysis available, including a focus on the difference between the original claims of the suit (that Google violated copyright, on which the opinion seems to find that the claims could have been legally settled) and the “future releases” impacts of Google Books (the potential results of their actions for all future commercial use they could make of their scans). The second is the center of Judge Chin’s eventual dismissal of the settlement.
The Open Book Alliance, not surprisingly, has a strong congratulation for the decision, especially for its focus on Google’s potential monopoly; Eric Hellman has some very pertinent comments on the potential ramifications if all the effort already invested in the METADATA in the Books Rights Registry become a casualty of the court’s decision.