NEW YORK, NY -- The National Writers Union today filed legal objections to the proposed settlement of the Google Books copyright infringement lawsuit. In the brief filed today in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the NWU joins as a “friend of the court” in support of objections also being made by the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and 58 individual authors.
“The proposed settlement is an abuse of the law and unfair to writers,” said National Writers Union President Larry Goldbetter. “It has prompted justified outrage and objections from writers of all types, across the country and around the world.
“The National Writers Union felt compelled to support the opposition to the settlement,” Goldbetter said. “We must defend writers’ legal, economic, and moral rights. We can’t let Google or any mega corporation steal our work, re-publish it and sell ads around it without permission and paying us only a pittance.”
The NWU is fighting the proposed settlement in court, with the antitrust division of the Department of Justice, through Congress, and via efforts with coalition partners such as the ASJA and the Open Book Alliance. Last week, the NWU called on former Vice President Al Gore, a Google senior advisor, to urge Google to seek a delay in the settlement proceedings. The NWU announced its objection to the proposed Google Book Settlement last month.
The NWU’s amicus curiae brief was filed by co-counsel Michael J. Guzman, partner with Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, and Lynn Chu, Esq., principal of the literary agency Writers Reps. “We are grateful that these attorneys volunteered to represent the NWU and the cause of writers’ rights,” NWU President Goldbetter said. “This is not a partisan or ideological issue. We invite all writers to join us to fight this theft of our rights,” he added.
The National Writers Union (United Auto Workers Local 1981, AFL-CIO) is a national labor union and advocacy organization for freelance and contract writers in all genres, media, and formats. The NWU works to defend the rights and improve the economic and working conditions of all writers. The NWU's members include journalists, book authors, business and technical writers, Web site and email newsletter content providers, bloggers, academic writers, editors, poets, playwrights, and other writers.