Authors Guild Slams Amazon for Stance Against Google Book Settlement

Posted on September 8, 2009

The Authors Guild has slammed for its stance opposing the Google Book Settlement. In a pretty harsh statement, the Authors Guild let Amazon have it with both barrels.

After Amazon came out against the Google Settlement earlier this week, the Authors Guild has come back with a letter slamming the e-tailer, claiming that "Amazon's hypocrisy is breathtaking." The Guild likened Amazon's control of bookselling and the up-and-coming e-book market to a choke-hold, noting that everyone is waiting for the moment when the company will stop selling e-books at a loss and start to "squeeze publishers and authors" when everyone is locked in to the Kindle. The Guild said that, sadly, the Google plan won't infringe on Amazon's control of the business: "Amazon needn't worry, really: this agreement is about out-of-print books. Its lock on the online distribution of in-print books, unfortunately, seems secure."
Amazon is just one of many people and groups that object to settlement, including the Open Book Alliance (a coalition of companies that includes Yahoo and Microsoft), the governments of France, Germany, Canada and New Zealand, some library groups, and other authors' groups. Noted author, critic and scholar Harold Bloom wants to speak against the settlement at the October 7 fairness hearing. Passions are really running high in this case. It's going to be one wild hearing in October.

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