Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Google book search settlement

Start here for information about the proposed settlement in the lawsuit brought against Google for wholesale copyright violation in the scanning of in-copyright books.

A couple of notes:
  • The proposed settlement has no bearing on the copyright held by artists in book illustrations or covers. It applies only to publishers, authors, and their heirs and assigns. If your copyright illustrations are scanned in the course of scanning a book, take the issue up with the book’s copyright holder, because Google doesn’t want to hear from you.
  • The propose settlement appears to weaken the protection of copyright law for the creators of works, because copyright holders must positively reassert the rights they already have—by opting in to the settlement or by registering their works with the yet-to-be-formed Book Rights Registry—in order to retain those rights. Otherwise, the way I read the settlement, they in effect forfeit those rights to Google.
This is another situation where the courts have confused copyright owners (mostly publicly held corporations) with the content creators (individual writers and artists) the copyright laws were initially designed to protect.

In other words, what else is new?

1 comment:

Michael A. Banks said...

I'm sure that art, like information, "wants" to be free. (What an asinine statement.) More artwork and photography is ripped off than are literary works. That may change, since it's almost as easy to copy a book as an image. The bastards with the "share your stuff" Web sites are closing that gap by making our books downloadable.

Check what Jerry Pournelle has to say about this, at http://www.pournelle.com