You probably already know about the controversy surrounding Google and the belief by publishers that they were violating copyrights by scanning books to make available online in digital form and to sell them. The NY Times article said:
Copyright holders who agree to the settlement would have the right to dictate how Google displayed content from the books, and could ask Google not to sell them.So why is William Morris advising its clients to opt out of the settlement?
… William Morris advises writers to opt out of the settlement because it would “bind copyright owners in any book published prior to January 9, 2009 to its terms…. “Now they’ve got this license to sell your books at a pre-negotiated one-time royalty that you’re stuck with unless a court changes the settlement,” Eric Zohn, an attorney in business affairs at William Morris, said in an interview. “It’s like a legislative change. Under copyright law, you don’t have anything without express written consent from the copyright holder. Now the court is saying Google is free to sell your book unless you expressly tell them not to.”Zahn is, on the other hand, advising clients to allow Google to keep their digitized books in Google’s database for searching.
It sure seems like this whole Google digitalizing and selling books deal will never get settled. What do you think?
(After telling us your thoughts, remember to bop over to The Blood-Red Pencil. It's day three in my Public Speaking for Authors series. Day one was Organizing Your Talk. Day two was Practicing Your Talk. And today, it's Preparing for a Reading. See you there.)