Monday, September 7, 2009

More About Google's Book Settlement

The opt out period is over. If you are in, you're in. If out, you're out.
The European publishers don't like the Google settlement and want out.
Books users are complaining over the lack of privacy and that Google is not prevented from recording user's book preferences.
Some people think that the settlement is good in that it will allow enhanced access and distribution of hard to find titles and of orphan works.
Some people believe that the settlement will result in a monopoly position for Google over many old and orphan works.
Many people do not like a settlement that does not require that Google obtain consent to distribute in the first instance.
In the meantime, the Justice Department is investigating all of this under an antitrust microscope. No idea, yet, what it has found or what it is thinking.
The Copyright Office has not been heard from. Perhaps it has no idea what to do?
The Congress is trying to figure out whether a co-pay is a good thing or a bad thing. Who knows?
In the meantime, the SOLE decision to approve or reject the settlement rests with one person -- a federal judge who is not an expert in publishing or book distribution, not particularly renown for copyright, and not elected for this position.
Is this any way to run a publishing business? Is this any way to design copyright law? Is anyone in control around here?

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