Climate Change & Google Books

Here’s a bit of 60’s style prescience that Gabe passed along, which might have been a more weirdly entertaining warm-up (ha ha) viewing for all at Copenhagen than what they got. Have you ever seen anything so strange?


I also love this take on Cap & Trade, which explains the notion in words of few syllables but with great passion. Maybe they need to see this in Copenhagen as well.

As for the rest of my life, I’ve been preoccupied with a sick laptop followed by a sick dog followed by a sick me, compounded by general busyness and the near audible crunch of deadlines…

Sat in on a Google Book Settlement webinar with Access Copyright today, which was enlightening. The new and revised settlement has some encouraging improvements, from Canadian writers’ perspective. One key change is the settlement is limited to works published in Canada, the US, the UK and Australia, making 50% fewer works included than previously. That Google has already violated the copyright of everyone else is up to them, unfortunately, to sort out separately.

Another interesting point we discussed is that opted-in writers can ask to have their books removed from Google Book Search, and the request will be honoured (though Google still gets to keep a copy of your book). However, if you are opted out, you can ask to have your books removed, and Google says it will honour the request, but if it doesn’t, it will be up to you to chase them for copyright infringement.

The arguments for remaining in the settlement – and claiming the settlement fee for having your copyright so publicly violated – are that if you are in, you have more control over what Google does with your books; you can negotiate to have better fees (than the current 63% author/37% Google split) going forward; you are no longer precluded from seeking and making better deals with new digitizing operations; and you can withdraw your book or change the size of the “snippet” (one of the most contentious aspects since some books are presented almost in their entirety at present). But the question of how your new books – published since January 2009 – will be handled remains an unknown; we got no advice on that score other than to monitor Google Book Search. You can’t, apparently, demand that your new and future books be excluded from future digitization.

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