Joined: 18 Aug 2004
|Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:12 am Post subject: Google's Settlement Over Digital Books Without Permission
Publishers warm to new distribution
By Grant Surridge with files from Hollie Shaw
|The deal allows Google to sell electronic versions of copyrighted books that are in or out of print, with the tech company sharing online sales proceeds with creators and publishers. The Google case, along with innovations such as Sony's E-reader, illustrate how book publishers have taken on the threat from digital technology and prevented serious disruptions to their business model. ... Google Books is the service at the heart of the lawsuit that provides electronic access to thousands of books the company has scanned into its digital archives. For many titles, only excerpts of the entire book are available. But publishers and authors still felt such offerings infringed on their rights and fought back with legal action.
That contrasts with the approach to Google taken by newspapers, which now rely on the search engine to drive traffic to their Web sites and don't receive any direct compensation. Or the music industry, which simply ignored the Internet and illegally downloaded music until their core business of selling compact discs had been devastated. ... In 2008, sales of digital albums rose 32%, but still account for only about one-fifth of overall music sales. Over the same period, CD sales fell almost 20%, according to data from Nielsen Co.
Currently, publishers must pay warehousing and delivery costs for their physical product, never mind the costly practice of permitting retailers to return unsold books. ... A percentage of these costs would disappear from the bottom line if more books were simply beamed straight to consumers to read on a mobile device or a laptop.
Newspaper and magazine publishers may also be able to take advantage of innovations in the book-publishing world to help revive their own attempts at conquering the digital world.
... But technology cannot combat the inevitable rise and fall of economic cycles. Book sales in Canada actually increased at the start of this year, and some publishers are flourishing. Penguin reported record sales last year, and Torstar Corp.'s Harlequin division, which publishes the famous serial romance novels, is outshining the company's struggling newspapers. But overall sales in the United States, the world's largest book market, are faltering.
In January, The New York Times reported that since October, book sales have fallen 7% in the United States compared with the same period a year earlier. Mr. Davidar confirmed that major publishers are scaling back the number of books they distribute each year, betting on a smaller group of likely big sellers. "Generally, 20% of the books make up 80% of the publishers' business."
About the Google Book Search Settlement:
|This is the settlement administration website for the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement. The purpose of this website is to inform you of a proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit brought by authors and publishers, claiming that Google has violated their copyrights and those of other Rightsholders of Books and Inserts (click for definitions), by scanning their Books, creating an electronic database and displaying short excerpts without the permission of the copyright holders. Google denies the claims. The lawsuit is entitled The Authors Guild, Inc., et al. v. Google Inc., Case No. 05 CV 8136 (S.D.N.Y.) The Court has preliminarily approved the Settlement. For further information, please review the Notice.
Claim your Books and Inserts: You can do this at any time, but in order to be eligible for Cash Payments for Books, you must complete your Claim Form on or before January 5, 2010.
Opt out of the Settlement:Must be submitted online or postmarked on or before May 5, 2009.
File an objection or notice of intent to appear at the Fairness Hearing: Must be postmarked on or before May 5, 2009.
About the Google Print Library Project:
|On Tuesday, October 28, 2008, Google Book Search reached an agreement with the publication industry, represented by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, in a class action suit regarding Google’s use of copyrighted material. ... The Google Print Library Project was established to create a virtual card catalog to increase the public’s access to ordinarily difficult to locate books, such as out-of-print books. The publishing industry, however, brought suit in 2006, claiming that Google’s commercial purpose infringed publishers and authors’ copyright rights because Google failed to secure permission from copyright holders before allowing electronic access to the protected materials, as required by 17 U.S.C. §101 of the Copyright Act. On Tuesday, October 28, 2008, Google Book Search reached an agreement with the publication industry, represented by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, in a class action suit. ... settlement will expand online access to copyrighted books offered on Google Books. (From Google, Authors Guild, and Association of American Publishers Reach Copyright Settlement by Antonette Naclerio accessed March 23/09) |
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