Peter Osnos, the founder of Public Affairs, has an interesting piece in yesterday’s Atlantic on the Google Books settlement with the Authors Guild and The Association of American Publishers. This settlement would create a Books Rights Registry and a corresponding royalty software system to help manage the digital distribution of written content.
Says Osnos: “Given the pace of business activity, the case may well seem outdated. Google has continued to digitize books in the millions. It has also launched Google Editions, which offers eBooks for sale and supports retailers in their own eBook marketing initiatives….Whatever the outcome, the original settlement and its revisions remain a landmark in the dizzying transformation of information from the traditional means of delivery of printed material to today’s increasingly digital options. Why? Because Google originally argued that it had the right, which it declared was a public service, to digitize everything without regard to paying the content creators of copyrighted material. Once Google conceded that was not the case in the 2008 agreement, that particular contention was resolved.”
Ultimately, this suit raised the awareness that with the opportunities presented by the digitization of content, author royalties must be respected.
Read the article here: http://bit.ly/fF6qkf