back to article Google digital book 'monopoly' feels heat

Complaints over Google's sweeping digital books settlement have reached a boiling point. And Google wants you to know that Microsoft is funding some of the heat. In October, Google reached a $125m agreement with the US Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, hoping to settle a three-year-old class action suit …


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Silver badge

That's odd ..

Seems to me that the only "must read books" I have use for are still available at Project Gutenburg, sans Microsoft, Google, or any government. No monopoly, so far as I can see.


Note I typed "must read books" ... Tech manuals are a different kettle of fish.



While I agree the orphaned works protection Google is getting should apply to everyone, how the hell is that Google's problem? Or in the scope of this case?

Anonymous Coward

Orphaned works clause....

So the settlement is a class action but the rightful owners of orphaned works aren't represented, seeing as they are (by definition) unidentified. What sort of screwy law allows someone to sell off someone else's property without telling them?!?

Gates Horns

Oh, you dirty microsoft...

This is the real way microsoft works:

*They tried to "copy" google in its X deal (books now)

*they FAILED miserably,

*they took of all their existing effort out of the way (giving us users the middle finger up)

*now MS blames google of whatever bad things come...

What angers me the most is that MS wants to prevent innovation and access to information. We, the users, that get in the middle of this stupidities...

If it would be by MS we would just get their information from Encarta... and please encarta, dont rest in peace...

Bronze badge

A problem caused by overlong copyright

Copyright terms relevant to the incentive to create new work ( the sole reason the public benefits by copyright being granted) would be much shorter, between 5 years in the case of computer software, 10 years in connection with books and music, and a maximum of 20 years for movies. Orphaned work means that copyright property exists with no identifiable or contactable owner, which is of great disbenefit, because it places reuse or preservation into a legal limbo, where rights to reproduce or preserve can't be obtained at reasonable cost yet the threat of litigation and liability when someone does this remains. For this period of limbo to extend for several decades or longer is culturally destructive.

This whole system is a mess in increasing public disrepute. Automatic copyright should only exist for 5 years from first publication. After that copyright should only continue to exist if it has been publicly registered in such a manner that anyone can easily search to see if ownership has been registered so is able to contact the owner. The registration of a work should have to be renewed every 5 years or it automatically lapses.

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