“Most of the state’s public library systems could be forced to roll back their tax rates and collectively refund millions of dollars to local taxpayers under a pair of lawsuits heard Monday by the Kentucky Court of Appeals. The suits, filed by taxpayers in Kenton and Campbell counties, argue that many library districts have improperly raised taxes for decades without the 51 percent voter approval required by a previously obscure 1964 state law.” (via Kentucky.com)
“Google Inc’s massive effort to scan millions of books for a digital library violates copyright law, illegally depriving authors of licensing fees, royalties and sales, a lawyer for a group of authors told a U.S. appeals court on Wednesday. Paul Smith, who represents the Authors Guild and several individual writers, told a three-judge panel at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York that the Google Books project was a “quintessentially commercial” infringement designed to protect the company’s “crown jewel” search engine.” (via Reuters)
“Apple Inc. reached a settlement with U.S. states and consumers seeking damages over the company’s fixing of electronic book prices, avoiding a trial in which it faced as much as $840 million in claims. The trial set for July involved cases related to a ruling last year that company had orchestrated an illegal scheme with publishers to raise e-book prices.
A federal judge in Manhattan today ordered Apple and its adversaries to submit a filing seeking approval of their accord within one month. Details of the agreement weren’t disclosed.” (via Bloomberg)
“The creation of a full-text searchable database of millions of books is a fair use of copyrighted works, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday, saying it also is permissible to distribute the books in alternative forms to people with disabilities. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision came in a lawsuit brought by authors and several authors’ groups after several research universities agreed in 2004 to let Google Inc. electronically scan their books and then created a repository for more than 10 million books published over many centuries and written in numerous languages.” (via The Associated Press)
“A group of scholars has filed a third lawsuit aiming to block the New York Public Library’s controversial renovation, this time alleging that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg mishandled the city’s environmental review of the project. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, criticizes Mr. Bloomberg for issuing a decision on the project’s environmental impact on Dec. 17—the same day the library submitted the final draft of its application.” (via WSJ.com)