[kwlug-disc] Google book deal

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Sat Jan 23 19:51:18 EST 2010


On Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 05:42:24PM -0500, Lori Paniak wrote:

> Does anyone know the details of Google's foray into book digitization?
> Taking control from "those who write it" doesn't sound very
> FLOS-friendly.  Or is this last-minute posturing by certain writers for 
> a bigger slice of pie? 
> 
> http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/story/2010/01/23/leguin-petition-google.html

I have not been following this closely, but I have been running into
backlash against the Google Books approach for years now. 

As far as I can tell, the key element is that Google wants to digitize
and distribute books even when they cannot find the copyright holder
of the work. That does not apply to Le Guin; it does apply to many
other very old works under which copyright still holds (thanks
Disney!). Copyright is broken, but the gripe appears to be that it
still remains in effect, and Google is ignoring that at its
convenience. 

I could be missing something here. I do not know what the compensation
for known authors is. My impression is that authors can tell Google
that they do not want their digitized work distributed (which is what
the petition is about). 

Here is a blog post with useful comments: 

http://www.ditchwalk.com/2009/12/24/ursula-k-le-guin-resigns/

I would be interested in hearing from those who have more knowledge
about how this all works. 

- Paul




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