Google limits the book settlement terms, fails to please

By Daily Maverick Legacy 16 November 2009

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

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