Topical items and views on the impact of digitisation on publishing and its content and the issues that make the news. This blog follows the report 'Brave New World', (http://www.ewidgetsonline.com/vcil/bravenewworld.html ), published by the Booksellers Association of the UK and Ireland and authored by Martyn Daniels. The views and comments expressed are those of the author.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
GBBR: How Not To Play Poker
So according to a blog posted at the Authors Guild, they claim the settlement was more about preventing digital piracy and defining fair use than copyright infringement. The Guild clearly disagrees with the US Justice Department's reading of the law. They state that they didn’t press the Google litigation through to the end because they view copyright litigation as being uncertain and feared that their view and opinion on fair use may not have prevailed.
They believe that if they had lost if would have been ‘open season on scanning of your out-of-print and in-print books’.
They ironically believe that if they had won the victory could have been ‘Pyrrhic in the digital age’. They feared that victory could put them in a similar position to the RIAA (the Recording Industry Association of America) who have won many hollow victories and may be losing the war. They also feared being outmanoeuvred by technology and pirates ever chasing the uncatchable.
Even before a settlement has been approved or rejected the Authors Guild have clearly shown their hand and why would Google budge an inch further? Who but the most naive would play such an open card in the middle of the game? In focusing all their efforts in trying to ‘harness’ Google, they could have left the door wide open to all. The only people who have benefitted in this sorry tale to date are the lawyers.
Posted by Martyn Daniels at Sunday, February 07, 2010
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