Three More Groups Rally Against Google Books Settlement

Writers' organizations contact Congress

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The odds of the Google Book settlement being approved – at least if the process comes down to a popularity contest – decreased again this week.  The National Writers Union, American Society of Journalists and Authors, and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America objected to it.

As reported by David Sarno, these groups represent over 4,000 writers and journalists, so they’re rather more important than a couple of random clubs.  Also, instead of just grumbling about the proposed deal on blogs, they wrote a letter to Congress.

Part of the letter stated, "There are millions of book authors in this country who could be locked into an agreement they don’t understand and didn’t ask for.  The Authors Guild represents only a tiny fraction of published writers, yet the new regulatory board set up in the proposed settlement will override individual book contracts – not to mention common law and even the Constitutional protection of copyright."

The organizations also asked, "Have you wondered why the settlement only covers out of print books?  It’s because the major publishers have struck side deals with Google for their in-print books.  In other words, the publishers who are negotiating for the plaintiff class have brokered a deal that will determine the digital future for books – but they want no part of it for the books that they actually are trying to sell!"

At this point, even if Google loses the Google Books settlement fight, it looks like the search giant may have created a huge PR problem.

Related Articles:

> Google Books Suffers Defeat In French Court

> Revised Google Books Settlement Still Has Critics

> (Another) New Google Books Deadline Set

Three More Groups Rally Against Google Books Settlement
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  • http://smobot.com Smobot

    I hate Google like I hate single-ply toilet paper. Sometimes I just have to use it, painful as it may be.

  • http://blog.maskil.info/ Maskil

    As someone who does more reading than writing, I’m all in favour of Google’s efforts, at least when it comes to keeping “out of print” books in circulation. There’s a vast intellectual treasure trove out there, buried under mounds of paper and available only to those with access to the major libraries. If Google can make these volumes available in a digital format, more power to them!

  • http://www.holytornado.co.uk holytornado

    Google is not a monopoly folks. You can always use Bing, which is like a breath of fresh air in comparison to Google these days.
    I agree with Maskil. If the publishers would make out of print books available, we wouldn’t need Google’s efforts. Eventually most books will be digital, it is only a question of time. Google is saving publishers a vast fortune in scanning the books for them. Eventually, the model will change in that the books are available for free. You will be able to see a page or two, just as on Amazon, but if you want the whole book you will have to pay for it. The only companies that should be worried is Amazon and the High Street retailers, because Google is quietly setting up the next global iTunes with their Book search.

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