Google book copyright settlement
In the case of orphan works, the copyright law stifles creativity instead of protecting it. Current, and proposed legislature is inefficient in dealing with this problem. The Google Book Search settlement will decrease the amount of orphan works in the short term, and limit its growth in the longer term through the formation of the Book Rights Registry. It is, however, only a partial private-sector solution. Far-reaching action from the legislative bodies is needed for a comprehensive solution to the orphan works problem.
This is the actual settlement awaiting court approval. As a source, it is imperative for my argument because it delineates the fate of orphan works in relation to the Google cyber-library, as well as the structure and function of the Book Rights Registry. It is the single source describing how the Google Book Search project could be the private-sector solution to the problem, offering an alternative to the –so far insufficient – orphan works legislation.
The agreement will essentially provide the following:
- Access to 20% of the content of copyrighted books. Before the agreement, access to copyrighted books was restricted to the snippet view (only some sentences around the search terms were provided). More content could be displayed (some pages before an after the search term) only after explicit agreement between Google and the rightsholder. Now, the default amount displayed is 20%. In case the rightsholder wishes Google to display less, display bibliographical information only, or to remove her book from the index altogether she can opt out of the Google Book Search project by contacting Google.
- Opportunity to purchase the book online and store in a personal “electronic bookshelf.” That means that the purchased books will be available for online reading whenever the user logs in to her Google account. Copy/ Pasting will be limited to 4 pages, while printing will be limited to 20 pages of material, with a watermark that identifies the work as copyrighted.
- Access to all the online material for sale through institutional subscriptions. In this way, U.S. Colleges and other organizations will be able to allow access to the digitized library to their faculty and students.
- Free, full-text, online viewing from at least one computer in every US public library.
- The creation of the Book Rights Registry whose function it will be to track down the rightsholders and distribute the payments earned though the 2 aforementioned pathways (Institutional access, private purchase). It will also distribute revenues earned from ads placed next to the displayed book. The Book Rights Registry will be a not-for-profit organization which will store and update rightsholder information. As well as actively searching the rightsholders for every work, the Registry will provide an incentive for rightsholders to surface and claim their works because it will distribute the revenues collected by Google.
The agreement resulted from a US lawsuit, so its effects are only valid for US users. It must also be approved by the court first (expected in May 2009).
tagged copyright google settlement by michare ...on 26-NOV-08
The Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008 was passed in September by the House and Senate. The act became law when it was signed by the President in November 2008. The bill provides time for agreements and negotiations to be made concerning the royalty rates for webcasters. The act amends section 114(f)(5) of title 17 of the United States Code. It allows for settlements to be entered into an 11 year period starting on January 1, 2005. This would nullify the Copyright Royalty Board decision of 2007. The bill also modifies the settlement deadline between webcasters and the receiving agent of the royalties. The new deadline is February 15, 2009. Although this act has no immediate impact on the royalty ruling, it is a step closer to reaching a final decision. The act also allows settlements to go into effect more easily. If any group reaches a settlement with SoundExchange before the February deadline, they can submit it to the Copyright Royalty Board and it will become effective.
The Webcaster Settlement Act is an important part of the research for my paper. It shows the progress being made regarding the royalty decision. The fact that this bill was signed by the President is evidence that the royalty ruling is a significant issue for the public. It demonstrates that there is some debate and doubt regarding the fairness of the royalties to the webcasters. This supports my argument that the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision is questionable and that there is a possibility for better models for determining royalty rates.