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  • Google got shafted

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Jeff--

I read the information; it sounds like the major change for Google in their program is that authors and publishers will be able to opt out of the program?  Is that correct?  I knew this was going on but as I neither used the service nor am an author, I didn't follow it closely.

Do any of our members use the service?  Let us know!

Betsy
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Betsy the Quilter said:
I read the information; it sounds like the major change for Google in their program is that authors and publishers will be able to opt out of the program? Is that correct?
Betsy,

Authors and publishers can opt out of the class action settlement and sue Google individually.

Any individual authors or publishers that don't want their properties listed will have to file new suits and deal with the added burden of this settlement.

Jeff
 

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I guess I was looking at this part of the http://books.google.com/googlebooks/agreement/#2 link, which seems to allow publishers and authors opt out of Google's program:

This agreement helps define how our users may access different categories of books on Google Book Search.

1. In-copyright and in-print books

In-print books are books that publishers are still actively selling, the ones you see at most bookstores. This agreement expands the online marketplace for in-print books by letting authors and publishers turn on the "preview" and "purchase" models that make their titles more easily available through Book Search.

2. In-copyright but out-of-print books

Out-of-print books aren't actively being published or sold, so the only way to procure one is to track it down in a library or used bookstore. When this agreement is approved, every out-of-print book that we digitize will become available online for preview and purchase, unless its author or publisher chooses to "turn off" that title. We believe it will be a tremendous boon to the publishing industry to enable authors and publishers to earn money from volumes they might have thought were gone forever from the marketplace.

3. Out-of-copyright books

This agreement doesn't affect how we display out-of-copyright books; we will continue to allow Book Search users to read, download and print these titles, just as we do today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In my opinion, this agreement subverts long established copyright laws.

With it the court has put the burden on the author or publisher to police Google’s activities. For example, I wrote a novel 25 years ago that is no longer in print but is still under copyright. Google now claims to have a right to post my book on their web site until I contact them and ask them to remove it.
 

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OK, I can see that.  It would seem reasonable to me for them to work on only books whose copyright has expired and to allow other authors/publishers to opt in, not opt out.  I generally think programs that require one to opt out are a bad idea.  Online businesses have generally gotten over the idea that one must opt out of getting spam.

Thanks for clarifying for me.

Betsy
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Betsy the Quilter said:
Thanks for clarifying for me.
That was just my opinion, I could be (and often am) wrong, Betsy.

I was rather hoping that some KindleBoards authors and readers would weigh in here with their comments and opinions. Google's Book search currently provides a huge preview of up to 30% of a book's contents, selectable by the web user. Once again, in my opinion, that's a killer for reference books. With four accounts, a web user can get the entire book.
 

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Betsy the Quilter said:
OK, I can see that. It would seem reasonable to me for them to work on only books whose copyright has expired and to allow other authors/publishers to opt in, not opt out. I generally think programs that require one to opt out are a bad idea. Online businesses have generally gotten over the idea that one must opt out of getting spam.

Thanks for clarifying for me.

Betsy
A long time ago, it was made illegal for book clubs to send you a postcard and require you to mail it in if you didn't want the book. It seems to me that the "opt-out" requirement is the same thing and shouldn't be allowed based on that ruling.

I agree that opt-in is a better way to handle it. Authors/publishers should have some say in how their books are posted and sold.

As a reader, it may give me access to more out-of-print books. I think that remains to be seen. There is still the physical problem of digitizing these millions of books we are promised.
 
G

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This is essentially the same thing that is going on at YouTube, and doesn't bode well for Viacom's ongoing lawsuit.  A few years ago, I discovered that many copyrighted movies (including brand new theatrical releases) were available on Youtube and Google Video--in nine minute chunks.  I contacted  Google about the matter and was ignored.  I then contacted the legal departments of several studios.  Warner actually was interested and responded, forcing Google/Youtube to delete all of their owned content.

Google's stated policy is that they aren't responsible for policing themselves for any content other than pornography.  If people upload illegal material, it is up to the artist or studio to find out and demand its removal.

This is pure BS and I hold out hope that Viacom somehow prevails and bankrupts the ba$tards.
 

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I really think there is great potential for authors to get the shaft.  But hopefully, all it would take is one author either with either deep pockets or a good pro-bono attorney to get the opt-out changed to opt-in.

Question for authors - if a book is out-of-print and Google allows free downloads, would you consider that taking $ out of your pocket?  Why?  Sorry if that's a dumb question, I have zero knowledge on copyrights and publishing.


As a reader, I am of the wait and see attitude.  I would LOVE to have access to out-of-print books for Isabella, but am sure that unless there is a lot of money to be made, I'll be waiting in vain.
 
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Jesslyn said:
I really think there is great potential for authors to get the shaft. But hopefully, all it would take is one author either with either deep pockets or a good pro-bono attorney to get the opt-out changed to opt-in.

Question for authors - if a book is out-of-print and Google allows free downloads, would you consider that taking $ out of your pocket? Why? Sorry if that's a dumb question, I have zero knowledge on copyrights and publishing.

As a reader, I am of the wait and see attitude. I would LOVE to have access to out-of-print books for Isabella, but am sure that unless there is a lot of money to be made, I'll be waiting in vain.
Out-of-print books don't necessarily stay out of print. Continued demand/inquiries about a book through "official" channels (Amazon, bookstores, etc.) often results in an out-of-print book being re-released. In that respect, Google giving away the books for free does (potentially) take $ out of the author's pocket.

Did I explain that so it makes sense?
 

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Bacardi Jim said:
Out-of-print books don't necessarily stay out of print. Continued demand/inquiries about a book through "official" channels (Amazon, bookstores, etc.) often results in an out-of-print book being re-released. In that respect, Google giving away the books for free does (potentially) take $ out of the author's pocket.

Did I explain that so it makes sense?
In that case if I were an author, I would be seriously p.o.-ed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jesslyn said:
Question for authors - if a book is out-of-print and Google allows free downloads, would you consider that taking $ out of your pocket? Why? Sorry if that's a dumb question, I have zero knowledge on copyrights and publishing.
Not a dumb question at all.

No, I personally wouldn't see it as taking money out of my pocket, but since I created it and own it, it seems to me that I should have the right to republish or not.

I agree with B.J. These big web based companies make money form advertising using other people's property as content. That's just wrong.
 

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Bacardi Jim said:
Google's stated policy is that they aren't responsible for policing themselves for any content other than pornography.
Youtube doesn't even police porn any more. If my daughters were still young, my values and my judgment would decide for them what is and is not porn ... not some website.
 

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gertiekindle said:
Youtube doesn't even police porn any more.
I bet I'm not the only one who wonders how Gertie knows this..... ::)
 

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I am an author and I submitted to Google Book Search myself. There are a few things that you have to consider:

1. People browsing your book online is no different than having them look through your book in a book store. Book stores even have big comfy chairs so people can do this all day long. Personally, I WANT as many people as possible to view my book...if I hook them, I'll have new fans.

2. Google provides links next to your writing where people can purchase your book. If they browse it and like it, they can easily purchase it right then and there. You can log in to check your stats at any time. I can't tell how many people purchased because of Google, but 11 buy links have been clicked in 3 weeks time. That's up to 11 of my books sold because of Google.

3. Google pays authors/publishers for the ads on the side of your book. It's not a lot, but it's already enough to pay my gym membership.

4. Authors/publishers can set the preview from as little as 10% up to 100%


Other authors will disagree with this, but I don't believe in hiding my work. I don't write for money, I write to spread ideas and tell a story. My Kindle version is set at $1.59 so that more people will buy it, and I literally make pennies on paperback sales). I even offered FREE PDF copies to all my MySpace friends, hoping they would go to amazon.com and write a review for it (none so far but it's only been a week or so).

So, I am totally behind Google on this one. I agree though, that reference books are a different ballgame here. Fiction though....I'm all for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
David J. Guyton said:
Other authors will disagree with this, but I don't believe in hiding my work.
Mr. Guyton,

The issue I raised here isn't about hiding one's work. I'm 100% in favor of Google's Book Search for you or any other author who opts in. However, I'm 100% against Google being able to display a book, a movie, a photo, a painting or any other intellectual property without advance permission of the copyright holder.

I sincerely wish you great success with your new book.

Jeff
 
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