Online version with detail

New Google Books dates

A new amended Settlement Agreement in the Google Books case was granted preliminary approval by the US Southern District Court of New York on 19 November. The next hearing is on 18 February 2010.

Significant amendments to the original settlement include changes to the important dates:

  • The deadline for opting out entirely - so that in theory you could sue Google yourself - is extended to 28 January 2010

  • The extended deadline to claim payments for copying to date: 31 March 2011

The membership of the "class" in the "class action" is amended. You are only affected if you your books are:

  • published and registered with the United States Copyright Office before 5 January, 2009; or

  • published in Canada, the United Kingdom, or Australia by that date.

Google will go on scanning all books it can lay its hands on, but not put those published elsewhere, or images in any books, online - yet.

A "fiduciary" - an independent supervisory body - will be established within the Authors' Rights Registry to represent the interests of rights holders of unclaimed books and inserts.

The 63/37 per cent revenue split for commercially available books can be re-negotiated between Google and rightsholders.

We have reports that Google Book Search will be available only from US internet access points, but have not confirmed these.

For more information, please visit www.googlebooksettlement.com and for policies on removing your books from Google's database as a result of the amended class membership, visit: books.google.com/books-partner-options

Meanwhile...

Google plans to launch an online store to deliver electronic books to any device with a Web browser, competing with Amazon's Kindle, according to Reuters. Google Editions is due to launch in the first half of 2010, initially offering half a million e-books in partnership with publishers. Together with the roll-out of print-on-demand machines in bookshops, reported in the October online Freelance, this promises to change the entire landscape of book publishing.

And Google has made a gesture to newspaper publishers, which will now be able to set a limit on the number of free news articles per day people can read through its sites.

Further, in a move which has nothing to do with diverting attention from copyright to privacy issues, Google announced on 6 December that it would start storing details of your last 180 days of searches, unless you poke around and find the option to opt out.

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