Posts tagged ‘Google Books’

GBks Settlement ain’t settled

Bit late with the news  that the Google Book’s  Settlement hasn’t convinced the Department of Justice as we head into the Feb. 18 hearing of the amended settlement.

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February 9, 2010 at 1:01 pm Leave a comment

There’s more than one thing wrong with the GBKs amended settlement

Got this in the mail today. It’s long, and it’s merely a supplmental notice to the original notice. As an author, publisher and interestee in the publishing industry, I feel trapped by this. Goggle gets to set rights and boundaries for using books published not just in the USA, but also Canada, UK and Australia. Huh?! And they will allow at least one author and one publisher from each of those countries as directors. Oh, really? One of each is supposed to represent a whole industry and creative collective? How many directors can we have, who decides and what are their powers? Pfft!

Plus a barrellful of  “we call the shots on your work unless you tell us no” terms which was the problem with the original settlement in the first place. Go read it all here. Still makes me sick. (more…)

December 15, 2009 at 10:08 am 1 comment

Delay means dead? Judge postpones hearing into Google Books settlement

The NYTimes thinks that by Judge Chin allowing a four-month stay requested by the Authors Guild and the APA, it means the settlement is as good as gone. I don’t know about that.  I think Judge Chin is waiting to see what comes out of the French case against Google when it recommences in December. In the meantime, you can bet Google will try to salvage it, and we’re in for another scrutiny of the next set of settlement terms.

[via AFP]

September 25, 2009 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Roadblock for GoogleBooks

We’re all watching the Google Books saga. Latest news has it that the US Department of Justice is really looking into GBk’s proposed book settlement for digitizing orphan books and books in the public domain.

July 5, 2009 at 2:18 am Leave a comment

Will Google own all IP?

In a move that proves that commerce will always overfill a pothole, Google has announced that it is set to be an e-bookstore, among its other roles. This is quite different from the Goggle Book Settlement it is pursuing and which is being investigated by the Dept. of Justice. (Basically, the settlement is for authors, publishers and other US copyright holders to opt-out of allowing Google Books to put up their books/stories on GBks. Google currently shows up to 20% of each book they’ve  had scanned, and potentially 100% of  books in the public domain. There’re a whole load of issues surrounding loss of rights, monopoly, classes of persons affected and jurisdiction–go here for a rough guide of the settlement.)

What I find interesting is Google’s pre-emptive move to secure a favourable position ahead of the Sept. settlement deadline and the October hearing by going retail. The worst case scenario is the DoJ decides the settlement is anti-trust and disallows it. Google could appeal/amend the settlement. Google could still keep, and sell, its preview of books to other distributors, including libraries and universities. As a sweetener, having Google as your distributor would be like, oh wow.

The best case? Unlimited future earnings for Google from selling access to these books or from selling and publishing e-books. This puzzles me–Google isn’t in the retail business. It’s a platform that delivers information; any kind, anyone’s, information. It sells services. I consider books to be a product, not a service. So what does Google do? They decide to be a publisher too. Why not? Amazon does it. Vertical Integration is where it’s at–control upline and downline access to facilities (such as a large marketplace or depository) and, if you’re big enough, buyers will have to come to you. News Corp, for one, does it too. Considering Google’s reach, it would be a hard deal to resist. But what does Google know about the nuts and bolts of publishing not to mention the peculiarities of readers’ buying habits, really? Google might as well say they’re going into aqua farming.

Google Books, the settlement, the e-bookstore, cloud computing… are all related. Each enhances the other and none should be viewed in isolation. Google wants to be the only platform you need to use to access information. In future, the world will not run on physical products but on licences and intellectual property. Many commentators see this as a clash of goliaths – Amazon v Google for the future e-book market. I see this as Google following its guiding principle to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful no matter whose toes they have to step on. The settlement and the DoJ investigation are merely another obstacle. What a wonderful goal, if only it wasn’t concentrated in one hand.

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June 10, 2009 at 1:49 am 5 comments


Evecho’s newsy bits

News, updates and links from the lesbian and publishing ‘verse that interest me, my current projects, keeping up with authors and sharing musings on middle-class life, gourmet adventures and comparisons between East/West perspectives. My opinions will likely be linearly logical and gayly bent, as they tend to be.