Friday, October 23, 2009

Book Scanning Prompts Review of EU Copyright Laws; New York Times, 10/19/09

AP via New York Times; Book Scanning Prompts Review of EU Copyright Laws:

"The European Commission said Monday it may revise copyright law to make it easier for companies like Google Inc. to scan printed books and distribute digital copies over the Internet.

Such changes would likely include ways to more easily compensate authors and publishers, possibly through a statutory license in which a company would automatically get rights to scanning and would pay royalties to a collective pool. Money from that pool would then get distributed to copyright holders.

Under Europe's current patchwork of copyright laws, rights are now managed separately in each of the European Union's 27 nations, making it difficult to seek permission to republish or digitize content, especially when the rights holder is hard to find.

The European Commission said it would start work next year, with the goal of encouraging mass-scale digitization and suggesting ways for compensating copyright holders. Any suggested changes to European law would have to be approved by EU governments and lawmakers.
The commission said the move was partly triggered by a hearing it held in September where European authors, publishers, libraries and technology companies spoke out about how they would be affected by a deal Google is negotiating in the U.S."

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