Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Google Charm Offensive Moves to Europe

European Union regulators are looking to mediate a discussion between European publishers and authors and Google over Google’s Book Settlement. European Commission officials will meet with copyright holders on September 7 to discuss the search giant's $125 million proposed settlement with U.S. publishers and authors. The US court will decide in October, whether to grant what some believe will be a monopoly on ‘orphan works’ and effectively change copyright not only in the US but globally. Google is currently on a charm offensive trying to persuade all plus the US Department of Justice that they are really the grandmother and not merely a wolf in her clothing.

The one thing that is certain is that the charm offensive will incease as the decision date draws closer but the question and doubts remain on the table. Some would say that fear of the alternative is driving some to support what many have exposed as wanting. It will be interesting to see which associations stand up to question the settlement and who finds themselves sitting on a fence torn between conflicts in their member interests.

1 comment:

Michael W. said...

An interesting remark: "Some would say that fear of the alternative is driving some to support what many have exposed as wanting."

All that would happen is that we'd continue to get the books we want to read via interlibrary for a few more years, but now aided by Internet resources such as WorldCat. That's hardly an end of the world scenario.

We sometimes hear of "reactionaries" and "Luddites" who fear technological change. Perhaps we need similar words to describe those who can't cope with a world that isn't constantly changing. These are people who can't accept a world that moves carefully, taking the time to be fair to everyone, rather than rushing into something without thinking like this scheme of Google's.

It can be just as foolish to rush into something because it's new, as to cling to something because it is old.