Archive for September 1st, 2009

Are you in or out?

1 September 2009

By Juliana Adelman

GutenbergSo Google Book Search inches closer to world domination.  The deadline for authors to opt out of its settlement (made in the US but applicable worldwide) is September 4th.  Is it the best thing to happen to publishing since Gutenberg or a nasty corporation’s way to squeeze authors and libraries?  I’m really not sure myself.  I wrote previously on the settlement on this blog and how it did not seem to be generating significant interest or debate in Ireland despite the fact that all Irish authors and publishers will be affected by it.  And here we are, with only days til the deadline and still with almost no discussion.  In a new and ironic twist, Microsoft and Amazon have joined forces with some author and publishing groups in a class action lawsuit to prevent Google from developing a monopoly.  A recent article in Vanity Fair highlights the legal complexity of the settlement and the confusion of authors over what to do.  I think this could go on for a very very long time.  I don’t have the legal expertise to spell out the consequences for all stakeholders, nor is a blog probably the place to do so.  Since I last posted on this topic I’ve discovered the American Library Association’s ‘Super Simple Summary‘.  Not quite as simple as advertised, but definitely better than the actual document which is, to my tiny mind, impossible.   Read more