Sunday, September 25, 2005

Authors Guild Rationalizes: Infringement Is A-OK So Long As We Licensed a Class-Action Giveaway

The Authors Guild -- which really should rename itself the Whirling Dervish Guild -- has issued "Talking Points for Authors" on the Google suit. See http://authorsguild.org/news/charity_handy_talking.htm.

See especially the fifth and final point:

5. Authors (and the Guild) aren't opposed to making their works searchable online with a proper license. With a proper license, in fact, far more than "snippets" could be made available to users. The opportunities are boundless, but it all starts with a valid license. This is no big deal, really; businesses large and small sign license agreements every day.

In other words, it's OK for Amazon.com to use search-inside-the-book technology, because we, as inappropriate and inadequate class representatives, gave away everyone's rights to Amazon via a License By Default and an on-the-fly amendment to a bad proposed settlement -- and without even augmenting a total settlement fund that amounts to less than taxicab money for he multibillion-dollar international English-language publishing industry.

"You'll hear more from us soon," the Guild concludes cheerfully.

Threat or promise?

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