Frances Grimble

Frances Grimble
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  • Google: Now Somewhat Less of a Copyright Scofflaw  [View article]
    I'm a self-published author of eight books. I have spent anywhere from one to seven years of full-time work on each book, and tens of thousands of dollars of production money on each book. This is the only profession and business I have.

    The Google settlement is stated to apply to not only everyone who holds a US copyright, but everyone who holds a copyright in any country that signed the Berne agreement. In other words, almost every copyright holder in the world. I had no hand in crafting this Settlement, Google never informed me of it, yet I am forced to deal with it.

    In the Settlement, Google acquires the right to publish books in every conceivable way, not just as e-books but as print books. They also aquire the right to assemble anthologies from copyrighted books without permission of the publisher or author.

    Even though it was illegal for Google to require me to "opt out" my books from their Library scanning project (and simultaneously from Google Book Search) I still opted them all out, in a very timely way. However, as two of my books recently appeared in Google Book Search, and Google's website says if I did not put them there they were scanned for the Library project, apparently Google does not even honor their own opt-out provision.

    For violating my copyrights, the Settlement allows me a mere $60/per title. If I accept the Settlement but opt out specific titles, aside from the fact that Google might well not honor those opt-outs (since they didn't before), the Settlement still allows Google to sell the books for a full ten months after they are opted out.

    Basically, the Settlement allows Google to pretty much take over almost the entire publishing industry of almost every country in the world. What they're paying is a pittance. Big publishers don't care about what happens to most books after a year or two anyway--it's authors who are being sacrificed. It's time for authors to realize what a wake-up call this is, band together, and confront Google (probably eventually sue Google again).

    And anybody who gets paid a comfortable salary while insisting that authors provide them with free information and entertainment, should consider that authors don't get any free groceries or housing. I refuse to become a slave to the greed of readers who want to profit from my work without paying me. They're not working free for the good of humanity, why should I?

    Nov 7, 2008. 02:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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