Hoping to allay fears that its $125m library-scanning settlement would deliver far too much power over the fledgling digital-book market, Google has told Congress it will give competitors access to its online texts. "Google will host the digital books online, and retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local bookstore …
"Although Google is a commercial entity, acting for a primary purpose of commercial gain, the settlement absolves Google of the need to search for the rights holders or obtain their prior consent and provides a complete release from liability."
I have no doubt that this is what will happen, but the logical question is: why? This is a civil lawsuit between two groups and Google. This civil lawsuit does not have the power to change copyright law. The outcome of this lawsuit should have literally no bearing on how copyright law is enforced. The ONLY effects of this should be felt by Google and the two groups. Any person or entity who is not a party to the lawsuit should not be affected. In other words, an author, as the rights-holder for copyrighted material, should not have their rights under copyright law reduced or eliminated because a publisher decided to get into bed with Google. As the Right Guard commercials used to say, "anything less would be uncivilized".
Grab of NON US copyright in the US
The book publisher is the one with the rights to sell it DIRECTLY to Amazon, not Google.
The orphaned works are not Googles to sell, or American Publishers organisation to license. It's not theirs. This deal covers books published abroad but scanned in the USA, in other words, if you have written any books (including computer manuals, training manuals, inserts, descriptions, ANY COPYRIGHTED WRITTEN WORK WORLDWIDE THAT COMES UNDER THE BOOKS OR INSERTS DEFINITION) . You will have your work assigned to the American Publishers organisation unless you opt out within the time limit.
That class action deal was a nasty piece of work, what it means is the American Publishes organisation gets the right to license work it does not control, which means it gets to DENY licenses to work it does not own.
It's not their work, who the hell are they to say that Amazon can't sell this book, THAT THEY DO NOT OWN, but Google can?
What the American Publishers organisation did was to object to Googles wish to scan the books, unless the publisher OPTED OUT. What the settlement does is give those rights to American Publishers Organisation instead UNLESS OPTED OUT.
If I left my house unattended, would the American Publishers Organisation claim it as theirs to license, and Google sell it on their behalf? If Google offered to cut in Amazon on the deal would that somehow make it right?
That class action suit cannot stand, it grabs the US rights to WORLDWIDE copyright and assigns it to this publishers group. This means that every book in the world is about to have it's US rights assigned to the American Publishers organisation.
i.e. You publish a book in the UK, it is scanned in the US, before you had copyright automatically, under this agreement, your US rights will be assigned to American Publishers Organisation, Google will sell it, Amazon will get a cut, American Publishers will get a cut, you lose your copyright.
It's a major land grab of US rights to every book in the world.
Does it cover newspapers?
I see it covers the US rights to non US books and inserts, does it also cover newspapers? And magazine?
In other words does the American Publishers Org gain the licensing rights to the UK version of the Sun newspaper unless the Sun opts out within the time limit? Google pops into a library, they have a copy of the Sun newspaper, Google scans it, American Publishers org gains the right to license because Sun did not opt out....
What about magazines worldwide? Fanzines even? Computer manuals?
Does every author of every book in every language in the world need to urgently opt out to prevent their US rights being seized by this publishers organisation?
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