Saturday, November 07, 2009

GBBR: Monday 9th November 2009

We may all remember this date in the future. It is the date when the perpetrators of the Great Book Robbery stand once more before the court and present what they believe will give them the green light to proceed.

Google, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers have spent a great deal of time and effort and money polarizing and confusing the global publishing market. We now we have a critical date where they have to present their revisited proposal to the court . Only they know if the changes are significant, cosmetic and the chances of passing the court and reversing the resounding rejection given by the US Department of Justice. Whatever the outcome, it will take more than a day in court to mend some of the damage they caused in their bad judgment in seizing a prize with chump change and with little regard to those who weren’t represented. We can only hope that they at least have learnt to drop their ‘holier than you’ attitude and accept their previous judgment was flawed.

The process has stimulated action from government and as raised the issues of Orphan Works and copyright but it also has caused confusion. Google has continued to move forward with its program and now has announced Google Editions – the world’s biggest digital bookstore.

We only hope that the concerns by the U.S. Department of Justice, authors, publishers, academics, libraries, foreign nations, state Attorneys General, consumer advocacy groups, booksellers and many others have been listened too in revising the terms of the settlement.

1 comment:

j purdie said...

Like the copyright laws being forced upon the world by the entertainment industry in the form of the ACTA international laws I suspect Google will get their way and be allowed to rip off authors and publishers alike - though there is some Schadenfreude in the delicious irony of possibility that Google could get whacked by these new draconian laws.

Plus I've posted elsewhere that 'orphan works' is a red herring: books are either in copyright or out of copyright. Taking without permission is stealing, intent to pay someone you can't find doesn't stop it from being theft.