Thursday, July 2, 2009

Justice Department Formalizes Probe of Google Books Settlement; Wired, 7/2/09

John C. Abell via Wired; Justice Department Formalizes Probe of Google Books Settlement:

"The settlement, between Google and book authors and publishers, allows the search giant to [sic] to create the worlds’ largest digital library by scanning millions of books housed in the nation’s research libraries. Depending on the copyright status of the book, Google shows snippets to full-texts of the books online and in search results. That prompted the Author’s Guild to sue Google in 2005, leading to a settlement in 2007 that covers all book copyright holders. That deal gives Google various legal rights to scan, index, display and sell all books in print online.

A number of parties have objected to the terms of the deal, including Microsoft, consumer groups and the heirs of Philip K. Dick. The main objection to the deal is the way in which so-called orphan works are treated. Under the terms of the agreement Google is protected from copyright infringement from authors who abandoned their books by not registering in its books database. If they show up later, all they can do is collect a little cash, change their book price or ask Google to stop selling the book. Otherwise infringement can be up to $150,000 per violation."

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