Thursday, March 24, 2011

Google book settlement: REJECTED!

Yesterday I saw this article on NPR:

Judge Rejects Book-Scanning Deal Between Google and Publishers, Authors

I hate the title of the article, the fact that the case is called a "book settlement," and everything else about how this case is described, because it is misleading.  It makes you think the judge was doing the wrong thing by rejecting the settlement, when actually he was protecting the copyrights of gazillions of authors and their publishers.

Do you remember a few years ago when suddenly you could find complete books online for free via Google Books?  I remember finding popular books like Wicked and being excited, because I could read the book for free online.  Seems like a good idea, right?

Wrong...  It was done without the approval of the copyright holders.  Google just decided one day that copyright law didn't apply to them, I suppose.

A lawsuit was brought against them for it in 2005.  This so-called "settlement" gave individual authors a piddly amount in order to allow Google to continue doing what they were doing.  Yay for Judge Chin for recognizing that it wasn't "fair or adequate."

As much as I love free ebooks, I don't believe in screwing authors in order to get them!

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