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[InetBib] [AMIA-L] Congress pressed to act on Google book settlement

So jetzt klappt's:

Another heavy hitter weighs in on the impact the Google book settlement
might have on orphan works.

Haven't some of us been raising this red flag all along?

Nan Rubin

Nan Rubin, Project Director
Preserving Digital Public Television
450 W.  33rd St.
New York, NY  10001
212-560-2925 (direct line)
212-560-2833 fax

* * * * * *


Congress pressed to act on Google book settlement

By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York and Richard Waters in San

Published: June 30 2009 02:17

The world's largest university press has called for immediate action by
the US Congress to prevent Google
<http://markets.ft.com/tearsheets/performance.asp?s=us:GOOG> gaining
exclusive rights to exploit the "orphan works" made available through
its book search initiative.

Tim Barton, president of the US arm of Oxford University Press, said
students' tendency to overlook books they could not find online made the
settlement Google struck last October with publishers that had accused
it of copyright infringement "a remarkable and remarkably ambitious

However, he said there was no "public good" in the settlement's proposal
to grant Google a monopoly over "orphan" titles, whose copyright holders
cannot been found.

"If the parties to the settlement cannot themselves solve this major
problem, then at a minimum Congress should pass orphan-works legislation
that gives others the same rights as Google," Mr Barton wrote in The
Chronicle of Higher Education.

The settlement has been enthusiastically endorsed by the Association of
American Publishers, the Authors Guild, and several individual
publishing executives, but is being probed
<http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/81bf17c0-5557-11de-b5d4-00144feabdc0.html> by
the Department of Justice.

Much of the opposition to the settlement, which has focused on the
orphan works issue, has come instead from libraries and law professors.

Robert Darnton, the director of the Harvard University library system,
warned in February that the settlement would hand Google a monopoly over
'the vast bulk of books that are in research libraries."

Mr Barton noted that approval of the settlement could accelerate orphan
works legislation, but added that "further refinement" was needed of
plans for a proposed Book Rights Registry, where Google was
"unnecessarily cautious" in restricting the registry from offering
others better terms than Google gets.

This "most favoured nation" clause would only apply in limited cases,
where another party licensed a substantial portion of unclaimed works,
Google told the FT, implying that a competitor such as Amazon.com could
negotiate lower prices if it wanted to undercut Google.

Google denies that the orphan works element in the settlement would give
the company exclusivity, saying it would gain certain limited rights,
and supported the idea of legislation. "It is a partial solution, but we
think more needs to be done for everyone," a spokesman said.

The impact of search engines such as Google in making available old
out-of-copyright books has been such that "the vast majority of the
scholarship published in book form over the last 80 years is today
largely overlooked by students, who limit their research to what can be
discovered on the Internet," Mr Barton said.

"What once seemed at least debatable has now become irrefutable: If it's
not online, it's invisible," he added.

Copyright <http://www.ft.com/servicestools/help/copyright>  The
Financial Times Limited 2009


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