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Comment Re:Which corporations does Le Guin mean? (Score 1) 473

I need to make an important factual correction to the above.

The settlement is NOT "opt out" where in-print books are concerned. Google cannot display ANY part of a book that is commercially available without FIRST getting permission from the publisher and author. Even where Le Guin is distributing her own e-book of an older work for $1, it is considered in print for purposes of the settlement; thus, she does not have to opt out. She may not understand this important point.

The only books that Google may use on an opt-out basis are out-of-print books. Since there is, by definition, no current market for those books, I feel that authors have nothing to worry about here. If they start getting money through the Google program, and they don't like it, they can always opt out.

Comment Re:Tricksy Lawyerses (Score 1) 51

Your position was that Google should be able to scan the books (despite the authors' "exclusive rights") freely, search them and thus profit from them, just not display them. If that's your view, I don't see how you can feel that the class is betrayed by the settlement. Every single member of the class is better off than if Google hadn't been sued. At best, they get some money. At worst, they are exactly where they were before. (Anyone can opt out.)

Google gets "exclusive rights" to nothing. Everything in the settlement agreement is nonexclusive.

Google gets no rights to any book whose author doesn't want to participate. Authors who do want to participate can still prevent Google from making any particular uses that bother them.

I agree that there is legislative work to be done regarding orphan works. That has nothing to do with the settlement. If anything, the agreement will make it easier to resolve orphan works issues.

Comment Re:Tricksy Lawyerses (Score 2, Interesting) 51

I thought Google was overreaching in scanning copyrighted books without permission--but let's leave that aside.

How is the class being betrayed? (I was one of those negotiating on behalf of the class.)

If you're concerned about books that are in print, these are not involved. The settlement does not affect them, unless the author and publisher both choose to get involved with Google.

In the case of out of print books, it's true that the settlement enables Google to make them available (more than just search). But that's good for everyone. The benefit for readers is obvious: these books were often hard to find; now they'll be available on line. But authors benefit, too: these books were commercially dead (by definition). Now, they come back to life. If there's any money to be made, it goes mainly to the rightholders.


Submission + - "Opting Out" of the Google Books Settlemen (

James Gleick writes: "With the deadline approaching for "opting out" of the Google books settlement, the Authors Guild has posted an aggressive explanation of who its thinks should do that: no one. Not a single author in the world, it argues, stands to benefit from removing himself or herself from the class. This comes as part of a new set of "Answers" meant to push back against what the authors group thinks is widespread confusion about the settlement; they also address questions about just what kind of money we might be talking about, and what kind of control authors will have over Google's use of their work."

Comment This Is Utterly False (Score 1) 192

This headline, and the third-party posting on which the item is based, are both false. Don't take my word for it. The Settlement Agreement is a public document, available at a variety of sites including the Authors Guild's ( The section defining Google's right to exclude a book for any reason -- and what obligations they encur if they ever do that -- is on pages 36 and 37. It's worth reading.

Comment Absolutely not. (Score 1) 271

This item, and the post to which it links, are utterly false. It really doesn't belong here.

Not one penny from the settlement (or from Google, or from anyone else) will go to the Authors Guild. I was involved in the two years of negotiations with Google, on the authors side, and I can tell you this as a simple matter of fact. But don't take my word for it; there are no secrets here. All the documentation is publicly available.

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