This Could be Big

I missed it yesterday in my jet-lagged frenzy of a day, but it appears that we’re taking another small step towards some kind of ‘heavenly library’. From Ars technica (and a thousand other places I’m sure) comes news that google has settles its lawsuit with book publishers:

Google’s long-running legal battle with the US publishing industry came to an unexpected screeching halt this morning, as the parties announced a settlement that, pending approval by a US District Court, will see the two sides cooperate on online access to copyrighted books.

There’s quite a lot to it, and I’ll read it over the next couple of days and post again, but here’s the bottom line:

But the most striking aspect of the agreement is that it turns Google into a bookseller, peddling online access to out-of-print, but still-in-copyright works.

The devil’s in the details, but we just took another step on that journey of a thousand miles…


1 comment so far

  1. mikecane on

    There are details to be worked out.

    I found one of my books on Google BS. It’s not supposed to be there. My publisher didn’t have the rights to give.

    I suspect this is the case with thousands of other writers too. Google cannot come in as a third-party and suddenly put “in print” books that were *out of print* and which justified a *reversion of rights* to writers.

    I am *NOT* having Google suddenly try to illegally and unilaterally extend any contract that might have existed between me and my EX-publisher.

    If Google damn well wants *my* books, they have to contract for that with *me*. And that should be the case with every other writer who has been out of print.

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