Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Deadline to Act on Google Book Settlement Is 1/28/10

Authors, publishers, and organizations:

A reminder that Thursday, January 28, is the deadline for you to act regarding the Google Books Settlement. The court needs to have your individual position on the record TOMORROW (a 1/28 postmark works) so it can be represented in the February 18 fairness hearing on the whole deal.

Your options are to (1) opt in and make a claim, possibly getting some money; (2) opt out of the settlement (of course that means no settlement money) in an effort to preserve your rights; or (3) do nothing, which will result in your receiving no settlement money and implicitly giving Google irrevocable rights to use your works in certain ways.

I hope you find this resources roundup helpful:

  • Official settlement page.
  • Recent webcast/workshop on the settlement, featuring a moderated panel representing various entities and viewpoints.
  • Authors Guild resources page.
  • National Writers Union FAQs on the issue.
  • Statement opposing the settlement from Richard Wright's estate.
  • Support for the settlement from the families of John Steinbeck and Woody Guthrie.
  • Open Book Alliance's third-party analysis of the settlement. (OBA is calling for the settlement to be scrapped.)
  • U.S. Copyright Office opposition to the settlement, as presented to Congress.
  • Ursula K. Le Guin's call to exempt the United States from the settlement.
  • Informative article in New York Review of Books.

This is a complicated issue, and I know people that are opting in, opting out (my choice), formally objecting, and doing nothing.

What are you doing? Care to share?

Tomorrow may be your last chance to act on your opinion.