|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Strange News this week
|More fun - busy week
European Union regulators want publishers and authors to weigh in
on copyright issues with Google's book scanning and book search
project, according to the Associated Press.
European Commission officials will meet with copyright holders on
September 7 to discuss the search giant's $125 million proposed
settlement with U.S. publishers and authors granting Google the
right to digitize and publish books that are out of print but still
protected by copyright law. The court overseeing the settlement
has given authors a September 4 deadline to opt out individually
if they don't not wish to participate. Google has negotiated many
deals with some publishers for current works and is also digitizing
Critics complain that the deal, which is scheduled to be implemented
in October, would effectively give Google a monopoly over books
that are in copyright but out of print. Google argues that the
agreement will make millions of books hidden on library shelves
more accessible and give publishers and authors a new opportunity
to profit from them.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice said it was
launching a formal investigation into the proposed settlement.
A Google spokesperson told CNET News that the company will be at
the EC meeting.
"What's currently planned is a fact-finding exercise by the
Commission--not an investigation--and we're looking forward to
taking part," the spokesperson said in an e-mail. "We agree with
European Commissioner, Viviane Reding, when she said, "We should
create a modern set of European rules that encourage the digitization
Update 4:50 p.m. PDT: The Wall Street Journal reported that the
U.S. House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee also is considering
a look at the matter, citing unknown people with whom the committee
discussed its plans and a Google spokesman quoted as saying, "there's
interest in having a hearing to explore the settlement."