Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Opt in for foreign publishers expected in revised Google Settlement
09.11.09 - The Bookseller
The Google Settlement is expected to see "few . . . fundamental changes", although some concessions for authors and publishers are anticipated when the internet giant goes before US courts today (9th November), the FT reports.
The newspaper cited "observers" who claimed the most direct way to head off concerns from international publishers would be to treat foreign works differently, and require an "opt-in" before they could be included in Google’s digital book repository.
But an opt-in provision for orphan works "seems less likely", the paper said. Law professor Randall Picker told the newspaper: "Given the timing, it is inconceivable they would have made big changes."
Peter Brantley, director of the Internet Archive, a rival book-scanning project, agreed. "I assume it will be more a surgical type of change, without changing the core direction," he said.
As a result, the FT said attention was now focused on ways to limit the settlement's impact on the emerging e-book market, suggesting this could see changes in two areas—access and pricing—to avoid creating a de facto monopoly. The settlement’s attempt to establish broad consumer pricing arrangements was likely to be amended, said Picker.
But he added that the wholesale pricing parts of the agreement would be harder to change without making more fundamental changes to the settlement.