Monday, 7 September 2009

Google Waver on Book Settlement in Europe

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The Google Corporation is a little unsteady on its feet at the moment and this weekend we have seen the first signs of a concession on the Google Book Settlement. The Financial Times is reporting that Google have agreed to a concession to European publishers and authors to have two non-US representatives on the board of the registry that will administer the settlement. The Financial Times claim to have seen a letter sent to 16 European Union publishers' representatives over the weekend.The letter is also believed to include a commitment from Google to consult with publishers before going ahead with digitalisation of European books. The letter also includes a commitment to deem books available in Europe, but out-of-print in the US, as still 'commercially available'.

This news comes on the back of a week that has seen Google come under extraordinary global criticism for their decision to continue with implementation of the Google Book Settlement reached in October 2008 with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers.

Financial Times Article.
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  1. Good for the EU. It's nice to see they a little backbone.

  2. I wonder if this is the first sign of the erosion of the Google Book Settlement in the face of some blistering objections last week.

  3. Two people on the board of the Book Rights Registry? What a pitiful concession. It's what the Google settlement does--trash the U.S. copyright of everyone in the world who has published a book since 1922 without their knowledge or consent--that's central issue.

    And the date to opt out of that monstrosity passed last Friday. How many of the author's being forcible opted into the settlement knew about what it means. I'd be surprised if it is as much as 5%.

    My own suspicion is that Google's management simply can't tell the critical difference between what people choose to post of the web for all to see and what they publish in books that they want fully protected by copyright. All they can think is:

    "Gosh, we make so much money placing advertising tags on links to web pages, just think out much money we could make splashing our ads on almost all the books in the world."

    Those who are interested can find copies of almost all the objections that have been filed with the court for and against the settlement at The Public Index:


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