Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Canadian Authors Launch Petition Against Google Book Settlement

A group of Canadian authors has launched an online petition to protest the proposed settlement intended to put an end to a class action copyright lawsuit by U.S.-based author and publisher groups over Google's plans to make and sell digital copies of millions of books.

In November 2009, the settlement was amended so that it would now apply only to books registered with the U.S. Copyright office or published in the U.K., Australia, or Canada.

The Book Rights Registry board, the entity that will be responsible for paying authors and publishers from revenues earned by the digitization project, would also be required to search for copyright holders who have not yet come forward and to hold revenue on their behalf. Much of the controversy about the original deal focused on what many critics see as Google's monopoly on so-called “orphan works” — out-of-print books that are still protected by copyright but whose writers' whereabouts are unknown.

The Canadian authors supporting the petition believe the amendments do go far enough and that the basic idea behind the settlement is flawed:
"New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa and India – all countries with English-language presses similar to Canada’s — have been exempted from the settlement because they protested vigorously against it.. We wish to protest just as loudly. The Governments of France and Germany protested that illegal digitization of books amounted to theft of a cultural heritage. We agree, and believe that Canada’s heritage of Cultural nationalism should be applied to the Google settlement. All of continental Europe is now exempt, and so should Canada be."

"We believe that Canadian Copyrights should be subject to Canadian courts, as well as to the Berne Convention. We believe that Canadians should not lose control over their works because they fail to sign up in a registry in another country; and, further, that the opt-out (rather than the time-honoured opt-in) clause serves to co-opt many copyright holders who do not have the the time or inclination to study this complicated settlement."
Earlier Library Boy posts about the dispute include:
[Source: Un blog pour l'information juridique]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:08 pm

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