Sunday, June 28, 2009

Proponents of $125 million Google Book Search Settlement post some easy summer reading

Proponents of the proposed $125 million Google Book Search Settlement have undertaken an early summer public relations campaign to convince authors, publishers and readers that the settlement is to the benefit of all. The material is a bit dry and not as exciting as Leigh Brackett’s novel The Sword of Rhiannon (1953), but at least the reading is easy:

• Letter to “Dear Fellow Authors,” from Roy Blount Jr., president of the Authors Guild, dated June 24, 2009, urging them not to lose their heads over the possibility of a Google monopoly of orphan books.

• Document titled “Unlocking a Vast Archive of Out-of-Print Books: An Outline of Google Book Settlement Benefits,” prepared by the Authors Guild, posted on its website June 24, 2009.

• Letter to the editor of Britain’s Financial Times, from David Balto, antitrust expert and former U.S. Federal Trade Commission official, published June 24, 2009, explaining why booklovers should cheer Google’s plan.

• Letter to “Dear Industry Colleague,” from Tom Allen, president of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), dated June 25, 2009, informing them that if the proposed $125 million settlement is not approved by a federal court in October 2009, the litigation between AAP, the Authors Guild and Google may continue for years.

Can hardly wait to see what happens in October 2009!

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