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Sunday, 6 December 2009

Google Book Search and ‘Exporting’ New Zealand books

You may be aware that on November 9, 2009 the US Authors’ Guild and the Association of American Publishers were scheduled to file a settlement to resolve their suit against Google for alleged breach of copyright in its programme to digitise millions of books and make them available for a fee online.
Google has already digitised over ten million books.  The New York Review of Books has published a feature article by Robert Darnton entitled Google and the new Digital Future which surveys and summarises this issue as it is being played out in the US.  You can find it at: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/23518
How does this affect New Zealand authors and their books?  Does it mean that Google will be able to make money from our authors and their works, when we should be able to sell or give them to the world ourselves?  In fact New Zealand has been left out of the deal and Google will only scan and sell book registered with the US Copyright Office or published in Britain, Australia and Canada.
Claire McEntee explains the situation clearly in her article Kiwi authors want to call the shots online  which can be found at http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/3086310/Google-books-row-explained  if you want to check it out.   I think it is worth a read.

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