Judge Denny Chin of the US district court for the southern district of New York has an unenviable task ahead of him: how to untangle one of the most complicated cases ever put in front of a judge - Google and all the books ever published, making a leap from paper to digital space. And all the writers, dead and alive, publishers big and small, countries powerful and weak. It started with Google’s move to digitise millions of out-of-print books and place them on the Internet. As soon as they started, just about everybody, from authors to book publishers to Yahoo, Microsoft and Amazon jumped up and screamed foul. Google tried to pay its way by offering $125 million for unlimited rights mostly to the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, but the US government itself rejected it. Now Google has tried to please the court by filing the new proposal, under which it will limit its action to books published in the US, Britain, Australia and Canada, as well as calling for the creation of a Trust that would control the fate of rights to “orphan works”, whose rights are held by no-one. That and many other complicated issues are on their way to Judge Chin. The book world will be awaiting his judgment with baited breath.Read more: New York Times, BusinessWeek, Washington Post
While we have your attention...
An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money - though not nearly as much as its absence.
Every article, every day, is our contribution to Defending Truth in South Africa. If you would like to join us on this mission, you could do much worse than support Daily Maverick's quest by becoming a Maverick Insider.
Click here to become a Maverick Insider and get a closer look at the Truth.
"We spend the first year of a child's life teaching it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to shut up and sit down. There's something wrong there." ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson