Kindle Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is interesting. I wonder if it will have any impact on the Kindle. Will we be able to get books for our devices?

From: The Authors Guild <[email protected]>
Date: Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 6:51 AM
Subject: $125 Million Settlement in Authors Guild v. Google

A message from Roy Blount Jr.:

A couple months after I became Authors Guild president in 2006, we met with Google to propose a settlement to our class-action lawsuit. The Guild had sued Google in September 2005, after Google struck deals with major university libraries to scan and copy millions of books in their collections. Many of these were older books in the public domain, but millions of others were still under copyright protection. Nick Taylor, then the president of the Guild, saw Google's scanning as "a plain and brazen violation of copyright law." Google countered that its digitizing of these books represented a "fair use" of the material. Our position was: The hell you say. Of such disagreements, lawsuits are made.

Our proposal to Google back in May 2006 was simple: while we don't approve of your unauthorized scanning of our books and displaying snippets for profit, if you're willing to do something far more ambitious and useful, and you're willing to cut authors in for their fair share, then it would be our pleasure to work with you.

We're happy to report that our proposal found a receptive audience at Google and at Association of American Publishers and the several publishing houses that had filed a separate lawsuit in October 2005 against Google. Reaching final agreement turned out to be not so simple, but today, after nearly two and a half years of negotiations, we're joining with Google and the AAP and those publishers to announce the settlement of Authors Guild v. Google.

The settlement, which must be approved by a federal judge before it takes effect, includes money for now and the prospect of money for later. There'll be at least $45 million for authors and publishers whose in-copyright books and other copyrighted texts have been scanned without permission. If your book was scanned and you own all the rights, you'll get a small share of this, at least $60, depending on how many rightsholders file claims.

Far more interesting for most of us -- and the ambitious part of our proposal -- is the prospect for future revenues. Rightsholders will receive a share of revenues from institutional subscriptions to the collection of books made available through Google Book Search under the settlement, as well as from sales of online consumer access to the books. They will also be paid for printouts at public libraries, as well as for other uses.

The payments will flow through the Book Rights Registry, a new independent entity that can be thought of as the writers' equivalent of ASCAP. Much as ASCAP tracks the uses of songs and collects royalties for songwriters and musicians, the Registry will serve the interests of authors and others who own the rights to books appearing online as a result of this settlement. The Registry will be controlled by a board of authors and publishers; as part of the settlement, Google will pay $34.5 million to get the Registry up and running, notify rightsholders of the settlement, and process claims.

Readers are also big winners under the settlement of Authors Guild v. Google. Readers will be able to browse from their own computers an enormous collection of books. We hope this will encourage some readers to buy full online access to some of the books. Readers wanting to view books online in their entirety for free need only reacquaint themselves with their participating local public library: every public library building is entitled to a free, view-only license to the collection. College students working on term papers will be able to point their computers to resources other than Wikipedia, if they're so inclined: students at subscribing institutions will be able to read and print out any books in the collection.

We expect that millions of out-of-print books (and many in-print books) will be available through Google Book Search to readers, but we don't know how many, since that depends partly on you. Participating rightsholders can choose to pull their books from this service with reasonable notice at any time and will retain substantial control over Google's presentation and pricing of their books.

As with any class action, individual class members remain free to opt out of the settlement.

There are many, many more details, but I'll leave those to the official notice. There's also an official press release, edited to within an inch of its life and the settlement agreement itself. They're linked below; be my guest.

Roy Blount Jr.
President
Authors Guild

October 28, 2008

Press Release
Class Notice
Settlement Agreement<http://app.bronto.com/public/?q=ulink&fn=Link&ssid=896&id=hqziorfaqrbqsil5319ue0btullqr&id2=4v5m95m8nrfhosvgctapbtwzf8xe4>

Copyright 2008 Roy Blount Jr. Mr. Blount authorizes any recipient to forward and post this message in its entirety.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
The Kindle editions that Amazon sells are obviously all licensed for distribution. Out of copyright titles will still be free from other sources. Sounds like it may be more difficult to get the library to copy a page, though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wonder, though, if Google is doing all this digitizing, if there is an opportunity with a partnership with Amazon to make that content available for the Kindle.

L
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Google is out to make money by digitizing books -- no matter what their PR people may say about "books should be free" etc.

And that is why the writers and publishers had to go to court and stop Google.

Although we think of "writers" as rich folks like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling, most writers don't make a living off of what they write. And Google was looking to take those little crusts of bread out of the mouths of the writers and put those crusts into their own, already overstuffed, bellies. I, for one, am glad Google was stopped.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Khabita said:
Although we think of "writers" as rich folks like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling, most writers don't make a living off of what they write. And Google was looking to take those little crusts of bread out of the mouths of the writers and put those crusts into their own, already overstuffed, bellies. I, for one, am glad Google was stopped.
Not really stopped...but forced to compensate those folks who should be compensated.

I'm not up on all the ins-and-outs of this suit and settlement, but it does sound like a win-win deal was agreed upon in the end.

L
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,087 Posts
The part I don't like is:

"Readers will be able to browse from their own computers an enormous collection of books. "

I'll pass if this means I'll have to also read them from my computer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
jmiked said:
The part I don't like is:

"Readers will be able to browse from their own computers an enormous collection of books. "

I'll pass if this means I'll have to also read them from my computer.
I'm with you there. Actually reading something from my computer for more than a half or or less gives me a killer headache. If we could print them, that would be a different story.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just a little blog I came across about this settlement:

Google Book Deal May Encourage On-Demand Printing
October 28, 2008 05:42 PM ET | David LaGesse |

It's exciting to think we'll have online access to millions of books after Google settled a lawsuit with authors and publishers. But for now, we'll be stuck reading them on a PC or other Web-connected device. Maybe one day we'll also see copies of out-of-print books on a reading device like Amazon's Kindle or even physical versions from print-on-demand services like Lulu.

At the heart of the agreement is a new Book Rights Registry that Google will help fund. The registry looks like it will be some sort of clearinghouse for establishing rights to old books, whose ownership is often muddled amid publisher mergers and failures. The registry also enables publishers and authors to participate in fees and ad revenue from books getting read online.

Much of that revenue apparently would come from Google, whose Google Book Search now serves up snippets of texts covered by the lawsuit. Full reads would presumably come with fees. Or they'd at least generate more ad clicks, with more income for publishers and authors-and for Google, of course.

Google would presumably receive nothing from physical and Kindle copies. But if the registry is to be run by authors and publishers, then presumably nothing stands in the way of Kindle downloads-and even good old analog reprints.

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/daves-download/2008/10/28/google-book-deal-may-encourage-on-demand-printing.html
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top