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Google Books Deal: E.U. Hearing September 7, 2009

     
5:52 pm on Jul 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Google Books Deal: E.U. Hearing September 7, 2009 [reuters.com]
The European Commission is to hold a hearing on September 7 for interested parties to comment on Google's deal with publishers to make millions of books available online and its impact on EU writers' rights.
"Participants were invited to it three weeks ago," Commission spokesman Oliver Drewes said on Monday of the September 7 hearing.

The European Union executive had said in May it would study Google's book deal after Germany complained the company had scanned books from U.S. libraries to create its Google Books database without prior consent of rights holders.

6:41 am on July 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It gets convoluted when the EU hears a case from Germany about a company from the US scanning books in the US. We may well end up losing access to much of Google Books across the whole of the EU because of the whining Germans, and that would be a real shame.

As with music, legacy participants need to completely rethink their models in this digital age, possibly even to massively downsize and become thin-agencies rather than media distributors and publishers.

7:25 am on July 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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"In a deal with the Authors Guild and the Association of American publishers last October, Google agreed to pay $125 million to create a Book Rights Registry, where authors and publishers can register works and be compensated from institutional subscriptions or book sales."

One thing is rethinking copyright and distribution, and another is steaming ahead with things before entering into such talks (such as in this case of Books) and then proposing something post hoc.

Hopefully EU will put their foot down on this.

2Clean.

7:32 am on July 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So Google has been scanning books in US libraries. My interpretion of vincevincevince's statement is that all of the books they scanned were published in the US and written by US authors. Kindly confirm this assumption.

[edited by: thord at 7:42 am (utc) on July 21, 2009]

7:32 am on July 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Big unanswered question is why the publishers do not already have a central rights registry. Why have they not been looking ahead and providing the structures that suit them for Google, Microsoft or anyone else to use?

The publishers cannot have missed the rise of the internet, globalisation, zero-distribution costs and electronic publishing. They should be the ones offering "Google Books"!

8:38 am on July 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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thord, even if that were true (though I think international authors were involved- but US libraries and publishers), the fact is that the works may have been published in the EU.

I doubt the EU are claiming jurisdiction over the right to scan, merely the right to republish that content into terratories where copyright has remain protected.

I'm not sure I back Googles initiative. "Orphaned works" seems to cover a multitude of sins- some I can agree with, others I can't. As a previous FOO thread debated, I think a commision should be set up to determine "orphan" status.

What I do advocate is some kind of joined-up thinking for the entire content industry. New business models need to be defined, that does not depend on scarcity to imply value. Distibution costs need to be thought about. Micropayments might be unwokable, but filesharing is an efficient tool, and I suggest those who have share ratios > 1 might pay less than those who leech.

In the internet age, this will need to be worked out internationally. And I think the content owners need to take the lead to co-ordinate action- which appears to be the very opposite of what is happening. Until co-ordinated policy emrges, disjointed terratorial legal action will be the norm. And it may be harder to roll this back than make sensible decisions in the first place

11:48 pm on July 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Seems like the US ignores this stuff. Good that the folks across the pond have some checks in place.

As with music, legacy participants need to completely rethink their models in this digital age, possibly even to massively downsize and become thin-agencies rather than media distributors and publishers.

They do, but at what price point do we start to lose quality music, writing and video because it is no longer posible to generate enough income to pay for its creation or maybe its creation being at least somewhat free of commercial influence?