Google Blogoscoped


Authors, Publishers, and Google Reach Landmark Settlement  (View post)

hebbet [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
12 years ago3,370 views ...

>>The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and Google today announced a groundbreaking settlement agreement on behalf of a broad class of authors and publishers worldwide that would expand online access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials in the U.S. from the collections of a number of major U.S. libraries participating in Google Book Search. The agreement, reached after two years of negotiations, would resolve a class-action lawsuit brought by book authors and the Authors Guild, as well as a separate lawsuit filed by five large publishers as representatives of the AAP’s membership. The class action is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.<<

see also: ...

Pierre S [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Can't wait for Europe, and meanwhile, proxies!

Above 2 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Michael Martinez [PersonRank 5]

12 years ago #

This could be a good thing for many authors whose books have fallen out of print with no hope of being republished. They may be able to capture new royalties from promoting the online versions of their books.

Mathias Schindler [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Wow. I mean, really, wow. It will take me some time to process all the fine print of this settlement but from what can be found right now, it is a truly amazing development.

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #


Blogoscoped is the second blog entry on Google Blog Search right now, all categories included:

Jim Carlile [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

This really isn't news, it's what Google has intended all along.

There's a problem with this whole idea, though. Google is not abiding with at least one of their agreements, with U.C., to make all of their scanned public domain works available in full-view mode.

I posted this on the Lessig copyright blog. It brings up an issue that hasn't been mentioned much, but could be a big legal problem for Google in the near future.

I think it's important to get the word around that many more books are in the public domain than Google may want to admit, and that they are supposed to be freely available, to everyone, per their agreements with these originating libraries:

"In case anyone's interested, here's an interesting clause in the Google/UC scanning agreement:

'4.3 Google use of Google Digital Copy. Subject to the restrictions set forth herein, Google may use the Google Digital Copy, in whole or in part at Google's sole discretion, subject to copyright law, as part of the Google Services. Google agrees that to the extent that it or its successors use any Digitized Selected Content in connection with any Google Services, it shall provide a service at no cost to End Users (1) for both search and display of search results and (2) for access to the display of the full text of public domain works contained in the Digitized Selected Content. To the extent portions of the Google Digital Copy are either In the public domain or where Google has otherwise obtained authorization, Google shall have the right, in its sole discretion, among other things, to (a) index the full text or content, (b) serve and display full-sized digital images corresponding to those portions, (c) make available full text of content for printing and/or download, and (d) make copies of such portions of the Google Digital Copy and provide, license, or sell such copies (including, without limitation, to its syndication partners). For all other portions of the Google Digital Copy, Google may index the full text or content but may not serve or display the full-sized digital image or make available for printing, streaming and/or download the full content unless Google has permission or license from the copyright owner to do so; Google instead may serve and display (1) an excerpt that Google reasonably determines would constitute fair use under copyright law and (2) bibliographic (e.g., title, author, date, etc) and other non-copyrighted information. In the event that Google has received a license or other permission from the applicable copyright holder to use in-copyright works in the Google Digital Copy, Google may use those works in any manner permitted under the terms of such license.'

I think that the third and fourth sentences are the tip-off as to what they've been wanting to do from the beginning-- license OOP material and sell it. That means this new settlement really just formalizes what they've already had in mind all along-- this whole book scanning program was never about altruism and "knowledge."

But the second sentence is the interesting one, I think, especially (2), where all public domain works are to be made available on their site in full-view, and for free. So far, they haven't always been doing this, and they've been holding to a strict pre-1922 cut-off date as well, when determining a book's PD status.

In my view, in order to adhere to the agreement with U.C. at least, Google is going to have to research the copyright status of all 1922-1964 books, and immediately place those that were not properly renewed into their PD list. This could account for a HUGE number of new PD scans, post 1922. Like, millions.

Otherwise, if they don't do this, libraries like UC that subscribe to a future institutional copy scheme with Google Books could be put into the position of having to buy back post-1922 PD books that should be free per their own agreement!

It'll be fun to watch how this pans out."

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

As Google works to determine who owns the copyright to post-1922 books in order to determine who gets money from sales, wouldn't they naturally turn up the ones that have become public domain as well?
Thus, I don't see it as a problem for Google.

Also, I disagree that there's no element of beneficence in Google's goals. How else did you expect Google to handle in-copyright tomes? Google certainly couldn't give those out as if they were public domain, so of course Google would have to develop a system to compensate copyright holders for their works. If this system can benefit readers, writers, as well as Google itself, what's wrong with that?

Jim Carlile [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Well, they haven't done this so far-- and the irony is, they've compiled Copyright Office renewal data for others to do so!

Originally, Google was mum about why they were insisting on scanning copyrighted works-- that's what led to the lawsuit. They absolutely were adamant about doing so. And they even tried to block the release of the formal U.C. Library scanning agreement.

They could have just scanned PD works, but they didn't-- nobody could understand why. But when the UC and other agreements were finally released through court orders, the Google business model and motive became apparent. It ws never about doing good.

In fact, the only reason why Google scanned public domain works for full-view release is because the libraries REQUIRED them to do so in the agreements, as part of their access.

But Google still won't release many pre-1923 PD scans, especially if there have been post 1923 reissues of these works. This raises some questions, because they are legally required to do so.

Here's some interesting language from Google's own site about post 1923 copyrights:

"For U.S. books published between 1923 and 1963, the rights holder needed to submit a form to the U.S. Copyright Office renewing the copyright 28 years after publication. In most cases, books that were never renewed are now in the public domain. Estimates of how many books were renewed vary, but everyone agrees that most books weren't renewed. If true, that means that the majority of U.S. books published between 1923 and 1963 are freely usable."

Will Google release most of these newer PD works? They haven't yet-- and they could if they wanted to-- they have the copyright renewal data already. But if it's a majority of all the books publsihed before 1964,

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

Forum home


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!