Wednesday, February 24, 2010

synopsis of googy news

I haven't posted much about the Google Books settlement lately, since it seems the details of the story change on a daily basis, and it is near impossible to keep up. Riding the subway this morning, I listened to a great synopsis of the Google Books settlement epic on the New York Times Books podcast.

If you have information overload about the settlement, and just want a big picture reminder, listen to the February 19th podcast at the link above. Motoko Rich's Notes from the Field focuses on the settlement as it stands to date. Great snapshot of the past and present, with real people talking about it in real-people language. If you have iTunes, it is easily accessible through that service as well.

Being admittedly author- and publisher-biased on a story like this, I must note that Rich does not mention the fair use defence Google continues to insist upon, even while settling a class-action claiming copyright infringement on a massive scale. The day unpermitted copying of entire texts for commercial use becomes "fair" will be a strange day indeed in the world of copyright, but again, that is my bias. Make up your own mind.

In related news, at least 6,500 other authors have decided the use (and settlement) was not fair, and have opted out.

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