Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Mysterious Google Book Settlement

I'm hoping some of you might be as confused as I am by the Google Book Settlement, because if it's just me who doesn't get it, I'm in trouble. In any case, the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators sums it up nicely as does the Author's Guild.

Since the deadline for authors to opt out is 9/4, I posed this question yesterday on Twitter and Facebook: "Should I opt out of the Google Books Settlement? Did you?" Answers came from a few people:
@jlbellwriter: I opted in with Google Books. I use that service about every two hours, so I figure I don't really have a case against it.

@jlbellwriter: Plus, Google Books is free marketing. And I don't plan to sue a company with billions of dollars over micro-royalties.

@juliadevillers
: My agency (Wm Morris Endeavor) very publicly suggested we opt out. Articles were written, debate ensued. I did opt out.

@juliadevillers: William Morris Endeavor stance and followup Publisher's Weekly story.

@kdueykduey: I haven't, but I have been so busy, I am underinformed. But they have, like 150 pages of Skin Hunger up. With gaps, but 150!

@Bonnie Adamson
: If you want to retain your right to sue individually, you should opt out. Not a feasible option for me, so I registered.

Alexandra Finn:
Having done products liability for years, I can say that usually, the only reason to opt out of a class action is because you are going to sue on your own. So you have to ask yourself: Are you really? Is it worth it? In this case, probably not. It's not worth your time and effort.
So what did I do? I didn't opt out, but I did claim my books. Chime in below with your decision. Now if only I could figure out what to do about that Google Adsense Settlement ...

5 comments:

kristin cashore said...

My fabulous agent Faye Bender, whom I trust in all things, recommended I participate, so I didn't opt out, and I claimed my books.

Thanks for the reminder, though... I should maybe go back and see if the second book is up on the site now for me to claim...

rilla said...

Hi Mitali,

I really appreciate this very useful and timely post that gives all of us authors a kick in the pants to take action on our rights rather than let our digital futures be decided by default!

Thanks!
Rilla Jaggia

Tockla said...

I'm afraid I can't help, but maybe this BBC article would be of interest?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8233324.stm

John Barnes said...

Opted out. Google settlement is a giant giveaway in which Google becomes, in effect, everybody's agent, and sets the price for everyone. The more people who opt out, the better chance of torpedoing the whole thing; and it's clear that the Author's Guild has behaved like a company-sweetheart union in the whole thing.

The whole thing needs to go back to Congress; allowing one federal district judge to effectively rewrite all of copyright law in the interests of one corporation is the essence of corruption.

AnneB said...

I signed on, claimed all five (adult nf) books, and drat. Not a single one had been scanned. So much for the new couch I was gonna buy with the proceeds...

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