Somebody tell me what's going on with Google. Apparently they are pushing for the legal right to own every out-of-print book, and everything attached to them, for every book that was published before Jan. 5th of this year. Every book!

An author who has a book out has to contact Google to inform them they do not wish to give up their rights.

How does this affect POD authors? And if this is a bad deal (which sounds to me, it is) why haven't big publishers and other writers been yelling about this?

Got any answers?

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Ah, so all the additional xanax and norvasc dispensed on this topic was all for nothing. Unless you own stock in pharmaceutical companies. Which I don't. But my mommy does.

I would think they want it written out of their contracts, though.
I'm opting in to the Google settlement. I regard it as publicity/promotion/searchability, whatever you want to call it. If I'm in their data base that much more, my books pop up on search that much more often.

As I understand the FAQ on the Google settlement page, authors and publishers with existing copyrights will be paid royalties for downloaded/distributed materials. Further, you can limit the kinds and amount of distribution on your account page there at any time. It's not a lot of money, granted, but over half my ouevre is OOP. I'm uploading it to Kindle and to iTunes. Google is another means of distribution.
I had heard a flat $ 60.00 per novel mentioned.

Actually, my books get so many worthless hits on the google search engine now that it's hard for anyone to get useful information. Most of the hits are library holdings, booksellers, e-book sellers, audio book sellers, foreign book sellers, and obscure tweets. The reviews simply get lost in all that.

However, my real resistance has more to do with outrage that they grabbed my books without permission, and that I had no recourse once the Authors' Guild people had the nerve to negotiate a settlement without consulting me.
When states works that have only just been published with new ISBNs are 'out of print' because publishers and authors either can't (because foreign company with no US bank account) or won't do a deal with them (because Amazon demand 55% of the list price/rrp, which only encourages publishers to raise the list price artificially, working against the consumer interest), one wonders how long it would be before simply stating 'out of print' - when it is no such thing - would itself be enough to trigger a rights grab by Google, or some other online giant. The abuse of power is staggeringly virulent even among the most apparently forward-thinking and modern of companies. Not only should Google not be allowed to do this, for even suggesting such a wholesale rights-theft they should be shut down. They have gone beyond irresponsible and planted their giant jack-boots squarely in the scary zone of fascist dictatorships. That’s really not overstating the case. This is a hideous, hideous, hideous idea that could only spring from the imagination of the truly soulless. Go away Google. Your pretence as a force for good has now been well and truly exposed as the anti-human tool it really is. You care nothing for art, or talent, or human endeavour, or hopes and dreams. You care nothing for toil and sweat and diligence and individuality and imagination. Someone creates something? So what, let's steal it and sell it. We get the picture. Screw them; screw anyone naive enough to think their individual effort should be respected in any way. There’s a book out called ‘The Attempted Murder of God: Hidden Science You Really Need To Know’ in which it touches on the rampant greed and callous disregard big business has shown for the ordinary folk of the world and one would never before this have imagined that anyone could reasonably name Google in such bad company. That, sadly, has now changed. We all believed in Google. We all believed it was something special. We viewed the way it treated its employees and championed disaster-relief and recognized noble thinkers and creators from the past on its home page. It was a business, sure it was, and it was about profits, of course it was, but it seemed itself to want to walk that same noble path through history as those it recognized on its site. What a difference a day makes. Google is now history.

Let’s hope the next online giant doesn’t think they can be so cavalier with people’s talent.

The only way out of this for Google – and I hope they take it – is to offer a massive apology for the unconscionable cheek and vow never to go near the topic again. Anything less and the damage to their reputation remains and anyone who continues to use Google to search online before they do so is complicit in this same ignoble enterprise. McG Productions Ltd for one is now moving to Microsoft’s Live Search. The vote with the feet is the strongest online protest of all.

McG Productions Ltd
http://www.mcgproductionsltd. com
This fire-fight is still going on, McG. Apparently even the US govt. is still not satisfied with the latest 'settlement.' And more author/publishers are stepping up their voice of protests. I doubt there are many professionls who look upon Goggle with any kind of benevolence.

We're months away from hearing the last word about Google's power grab.
Well, now. I agree with you, McGproductions, but a boycott of the search engine will never happen. Taking them to court is the only way. Too bad Authors' Guild doesn't really speak for authors.
Is anyone fighting for authors in the legal arena? The only person who seems even remotely interested in authors is the judge who extended the opt-out period. And a judge isn't an advocate.
I've switched to StartPage. It values privacy and has a nice proxy system.
Benjamin Sobieck, thanks for the heads-up on - never knew it existed till now. This is our new joint favourite with Every search we do there, we'll duplicate on It's got a good feel.

I. J. Parker, Google's approach in this area appears at least to be symptomatic of a company out of control and much too powerful for the health of the internet or society in general. Laws are specific to each narrow decision and don't address Google's overall imperial approach to the world, which is surely ultimately curtailed by consumer choice. If people move search engines as a direct response to this then this kind of thing gets nipped in the bud. Google became the number one search engine because it was the best AND because it was talked about as such - Online discussions can have an effect. For anyone to say otherwise - and it's inevitable some will - is to play the apathetic game to no purpose. Google should stay, but right now it’s too big for its boots and should be shown the boot by the consumer until it restrains its imperial vision. Enough's enough.
Hmm. Will give your suggestions a shot.


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