Canadian Authors Launch Petition Against Google Book Settlement
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."Earlier Library Boy posts about the dispute include:
"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."
- Google Settles Lawsuit With U.S. Authors and Publishers (October 28, 2008)
- Google Book Scanning Project Settlement: More Reaction and Analysis (February 23, 2009)
- Association of American Publishers on Recent Google Book Project Settlement (February 24, 2009)
- Controversy Heats Up Over Google Book Search Settlement (August 24, 2009)
- How To Find Court Filings in the Google Book Settlement (September 8, 2009)
- Google Book Search Bibliography (September 14, 2009)
- Google Book Scanning Court Hearing Postponed (September 22, 2009)
- American Library Associations Publish Summary of Google Books Litigation Court Filings (October 6, 2009)
- American Library Association Website on Google Book Settlement(October 26, 2009)
- Guide to the Amended Google Book Settlement (November 30, 2009)