I am furious with Google!

First, they took it upon themselves to scan numerous books and display the content of those books online. They thought they could legally do that. Many thought otherwise. They’re now embroiled in a huge lawsuit that may not be settled for years…if ever.

In the meantime, they are still displaying 75% (YES, SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT!) of one of my books without MY permission. That is FAR beyond fair use! In response to my first demand for them to remove my book, they told me to contact my publisher. Yeah, right. My publisher doesn’t own the rights to display my book online for free, either! In addition, there are chapters in the book that were submitted by others. We don’t own the electronic rights to those submissions, either. This means Google has put itself, my publisher, and ME at risk of a lawsuit.

When I sent them another demand, detailing the facts above, they sent me a laundry list of steps I must complete to have them remove the book. A copy of that email appears at the end of this article. Why can’t a simple email or letter do? Maybe if it was easy, everybody would do it and Google would have to remove all those titles. Maybe they thought if they make it difficult enough, far fewer authors would defy their (what I consider illegal) actions? Who knows?

What the person who emailed me didn’t tell me was that I could simply opt-out using a form online and that this action would also cause them to remove my book from their database.

To opt-out instantly online, click here:

Why should you opt out? Quite simply, because there is no settlement yet. Google could very well end up owning the rights to print and resell your book with little or even no remuneration to you. That’s right! Nothing has been signed by the judge so, by opting in (taking no action at all), you are agreeing to terms that haven’t even been negotiated yet. Sure, they’re offering payment of a one-time fee (last I heard it was $60 but, again, they could change that later and even eliminate it!) but you may end up with nothing or far less than your book and your rights are worth. This would, of course, affect your heirs, too.

I am opting out is because I am firmly against any large firm thinking they can take other people’s property and do with it what they want just because they’re a large firm. It seems to me this is what Google did. Do they think they’re above the law? Sure seems like it!

I urge all authors to opt out of the Google Books settlement. I honestly have no idea why the Author’s Guild agreed to settle in the first place. It stinks to high heaven. It is, in my opinion, NOT in the best interests of authors and their heirs and to allow one huge corporation to control the publication / display of books that belong to authors and their families is ridiculous!

A GREAT article on this by Gillian Spraggs begins with this:

“The proposed Google Book Settlement represents an attempt to use the machinery of a private settlement in a civil law case to overturn fundamental principles of national and international copyright law in the interests of Google Inc., a wealthy corporation.”

She has also posted links to comments about the proposed settlement from lawyers, authors, publishers, and even John Steinbeck’s estate HERE.

Below are the two emails I received from Google. Notice in the first one they state their program is designed to increase visibility for authors and publishers. Ha ha ha. The program is a possible future cash cow for Google! They’re already making money on the books listed there via Google ads. In fact, one of my competitors is running an ad on the page featuring illegal copies of MY book text! So, Google is already hurting me in more ways than one!


——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: [#372333757] other
Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2008 18:45:34 -0000
From: Google Book Search Support []


Thanks for your email. I understand that you have found your title
displaying on Google Book Search. As you may know, Google Book Search is a
program for content rights holders, such as publishers and authors, to
increase the visibility of their copyrighted materials by displaying them
online. Your publisher has an account with Google Book Search, and
submitted your book to Google as part of this program.

If you have questions about why your book was added to the program, or
would like to request that it be removed from Google Book Search, I
recommend that you first contact your publisher directly.

Feel free to respond to this email if you have further questions about the
display of your book on Google.


The Google Book Search Team


After I contacted them telling nobody, including my publisher, has the right to publish such a large chunk of my book, including the chapters written by other writers, online for free, this is what I received.

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: [#372333757] other
Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2008 23:54:51 -0000
From: Google Book Search Support []

Hello Angela,

As stated in our previous message to you, the book you are referring to
has been made available to users by the publisher of the title. However,
it is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply
with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the text of which can be found
at the U.S. Copyright Office website: and
other applicable intellectual property laws. In this case, this means that
if we receive proper notice of infringement, we will forward that notice
to the responsible publisher of the title in question.

To file a notice of infringement with us, you must provide a written
communication (by fax or regular mail, not by email) that sets forth the
items specified below. Please note that pursuant to that Act, you may be
liable to the alleged infringer for damages (including costs and
attorneys’ fees) if you materially misrepresent that you own an item when
you in fact do not. Accordingly, if you are not sure whether you have the
right to request removal from our service, we suggest that you first
contact an attorney.

To expedite our ability to process your request, please use the following
format (including section numbers):

1. Identify in sufficient detail the copyrighted work that you believe has
been infringed upon. For example, “The copyrighted work at issue is “Touch
Not This Cat” by Dudley Smith, published by Smith Publishing, ISBN

2. Identify the material that you claim is infringing the copyrighted work
listed in item #1 above.  Identify the URL of the content within the
Google Book Search program, such as
<>.  If the alleged infringement is
specific to a page within a book, you must include each applicable page

3. Provide information reasonably sufficient to permit Google to contact
you (email address is preferred).

4. Provide information, if possible, sufficient to permit Google to notify
the publisher of the book that is allegedly infringing or that contains
infringing material (email address is preferred).

5. Include the following statement: “I have a good faith belief that use
of the copyrighted materials as described above is not authorized by the
copyright owner, its agent, or the law.”

6. Include the following statement: “I swear, under penalty of perjury
consistent with United States Code Title 17, Section 512, that the
information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright
owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right
that is allegedly infringed.”

7. Sign the paper.

8. Send written communication to:

Google, Inc.
Attn: Google Legal Support, Google Book Search DMCA Complaints
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

OR fax to:

+1 (650) 887-1734, Attn: Google Legal Support, Google Book Search DMCA


The Google Book Search Team

POSTSCRIPT: I also found chapters I contributed to another author’s book posted on Google Books without my permission. I purposely did not give that author, nor his publisher, permission to publish my work online for free (because the content is from another book I still have on the market). Google violated my copyright by publishing that and the publisher in question immediately notified me that they would remove the entire book from Google Books.