Sunday, November 15, 2009

NZ left out of revised $US125m Google Books deal; National Business Review, 11/16/09

Chris Keall, National Business Review; NZ left out of revised $US125m Google Books deal:

"Google has narrowed the scope of its $US125 million settlement with publishers of out-of-print titles released as free e-books through its ad-funded Book Search service.

The settlement, originally announced in October last year, will now only cover books that are registered with the US copyright office, or originally published in the UK, Canada or Australia.
The revised deal came after pressure from the US Department of Justice. The European Union had also been circling.

In a statement released soon after the revised deal was announced late Saturday New Zealand time, Google said the deal was narrowed to the four countries “which share a common legal heritage and similar book industry practices.”

Martin Taylor, director of Auckland publisher Addenda and founder of the Digital Publishing Forum, had an alternative definition.

“The revised terms are notable for the exclusion of works from many countries that objected to its original settlement proposal,” said Mr Taylor in a blog post over the weekend.

“Interestingly, many of those from countries excluded from the deal might now be asking themselves, ‘Why can’t we be in, too?’ Perhaps this is part of the clever psychology of the deal, creating an apparent ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ so that the excluded parties feel obliged to open negotiations with Google,” added Mr Taylor."

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