4.1(a)(ii)

(ii) Parameters. Google and the Registry will use the following parameters to determine the price of Institutional Subscriptions: pricing of similar products and services available from third parties, the scope of Books available, the quality of the scan and the features offered as part of the Institutional Subscription. Plaintiffs and Google expect that the number of Books available through an Institutional Subscription will change over time. As such, the value and price of Institutional Subscriptions may also change over time.

2 Comments

  1. Deven Desai
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    The pricing system requires more general commentary. In short, whether this system is fair or a wise approach for all concerned (e.g., readers, small institutions, entrepreneurs and innovators) is questionable.

    Let’s begin with this phrase: “Google and the Registry will use the following parameters to determine the price of Institutional Subscriptions: pricing of similar products and services available from third parties”

    This language seems like stock deal language that may work well in an established industry where customs can be used to guide the deal. As Pam Samuelson and others have noted, “This settlement will transform the future of the book industry and of public access to the cultural heritage of mankind embodied in books. How audacious is that?” As such, the deal seems to lack any real sense of what pricing will be in place.

    Of course the other parameters will matter, but the general nature this clause is troubling. I still need to read the Plan of Allocation (which is oddly obscure way of referring to the plan for the money at issue) more closely but that material does not appear to address the vague nature of this clause. In addition, of course costs could change but the mechanism for determining that cost must be studied and clarified.

  2. Deven Desai
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    One other issue: the quality of the scan idea seems to me like a lesson taken from the recording industry. Is this language about purposefully degrading images or is it about whether a scan comes out well? It seems odd that the claim is to examine hundreds of thousands of books and determine price in a fine-grained way when the rest of the deal aims to have broad licensing systems in place.

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