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Google / Author’s Guild Decision Delayed

Publisher’s Weekly and others announced yesterday that the Judge has decided not to decide yet if he’s going to approve the Google / Authors Guild Settlement.

I’m a long way from understanding the implications, and frankly, I suspect so is everyone else. This is loaded with potential for awful unintended consequences.

The Justice Department is opposed, but, maybe for the wrong reasons. Or maybe not. They seem to be concerned with both copyright law and antitrust implications.  Copyright law, in my opinion, needs to be rethought from the bottom up, not likely in today’s political climate. I’m glad to hear Justice thinking about antitrust again.

I tend to believe Google when they say they will do no harm, or however they state this, but the more I read about this settlement the more uneasy I get.

According to a Business Week article, Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp., AT&T Inc. oppose it – no surprise there. I didn’t know, however, that whole country’s are opposed, including Germany and France.

U.S. District Judge Denny Chin is quoted as saying “There’s a lot to think about.” An understatement to be sure.

If it were up to me, and so far no one has called to ask, I’d probably send the whole thing back to the drawing board. I’m sure more authors need to be represented; I’d like to hear from independent booksellers and some leaders in self-publishing as well. Librarians should chime in I think, and, of course, readers. Teachers should probably be heard from – at least those who teach literature at all levels.

This issue really needs some additional deep thinking and I’m not sure that’s going to happen. Oh, I’m sure Chin will do his best, but the chances are which every way he rules will be appealed.

I wish our lawmakers were in a more thoughtful frame of mind these days.

What’s your opinion?


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