From UC Berkeley to Cornell, more than 80 professors have signed a petition against a pending settlement agreement between Google Inc. and authors and publishers, reports the Daily Californian. The petition calls into question provisions within the settlement that its signers say will give Google a “de facto monopoly” over books scanned in a digital library project. According to the petition, co-written by Pamela Samuelson, a UC Berkeley professor of law and information, two of the main concerns that professors have with the settlement are the amount of compensation authors will receive for the past scanning of books, and insufficient privacy protections. Jan. 28 is the last day for authors to reject the terms of the settlement, as well as to file objections to the settlement for the presiding judge to review. In a Jan. 27 campus memo in response to Samuelson’s petition, UC Berkeley professor of economics, business, and information Hal Varian said he sees the benefits the settlement would bring. “The agreement is not perfect, but I believe it to be a huge improvement over the status quo for authors, publishers, scholars, and the general public,” Varian said in the memo. “In my view, it deserves the enthusiastic support of all Berkeley faculty.”
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