I’m supposed to be taking my holiday break (ha ha – like that ever really happens!) but I wanted to let you know about this latest Google Books development.
I have publicly blasted Google’s practice of scanning and publishing (large!) portions of books without permission. I was one of their victims and the amount of scanning they did to one of my books and to some booklocker.com books was FAR more than “fair use.” Despite Google’s claim that the books they scanned were in the public domain (ha ha ha!), they also scanned many books that are very much alive, and still in print. The scanned pages were then published online, for free, without permission from the copyright holders. And, yes, we opted out of the Google settlement, and recommended our authors do so as well.
We also believe the “settlement” reached between Google and The Author’s Guild (the guild does NOT represent all authors!) is beyond unacceptable. Why would any “guild” representing authors agree to settle a lawsuit with a company that does business this way? If the settlement is accepted by the court (we’re praying it is NOT!), it could set off a series of events that may change copyright law in the U.S., to the detriment of all authors and publishers.
Well, Google is getting whipped overseas for their actions and it’s about time! Check this out.
Google Convicted in French Copyright Case
Google has been ordered to pay a French publisher $430K, along with $14,300 per day for each day the database continues to contain the illegally scanned books.
Chinese Author Sues Google Over Book Scanning
Chinese Authors Turn up Heat on Google Over Book Scanning
I hope publishers in other countries are lining up to sue Google as well. It’s clear their legal systems are working better than ours right now!