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    New York Times: Libraries Ask Judge to Monitor Google Books Settlement

    The New York Times’ Bits Blog has a story about the Google book settlement.

    Three groups representing libraries, including the American Library Association, the largest such group in the United States, have asked a federal judge to exercise “vigorous oversight” over a class action settlement between Google, authors and publishers.

    The two other groups are the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Association of Research Libraries. The groups did not oppose the settlement, but in a court filing they asked United States District Court Judge Denny Chin to provide continuing oversight of it, to ensure that the prices Google charges for subscriptions to its digital library aren’t artificially high because of a lack of competition. They have also asked Judge Chin to ensure that the privacy of readers of books made available online by Google is protected. […]

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an online civil liberties group, has said that it too plans to ask the court to ensure that Google does not monitor the reading habits of users of its Book Search service.

    “What we’d like to see Google do is make affirmative representations as to how they will protect privacy,” said Cindy Cohn, legal director of the foundation.

    Unlike the libraries, which are merely asking for court oversight, Ms. Cohn said that the E.F.F. was working with a group of authors that plan to oppose the settlement unless adequate privacy guarantees are put in place. Ms. Cohn said the E.F.F. was talking to Google about such guarantees.

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