Thursday, February 18, 2010

Google Settlement Watch - Feb. 18, 2010

For all you "Google settlement watchers", today was "the day". High Noon at the OK Corral. But no joy for either side today, as Judge Denny Chin announced (from the AP):

"To end the supense, I'm not going to rule today. There is just too much to digest."

Everyone and their mother, and that includes the Department of Justice, Amazon, and Microsoft have chimed in on this settlement agreement, both pro and con. And famed fantasy author Ursula K. LeGuin resigned her membership in the Authors Guild over their participation in the deal. But at 300+ pages even I threw up my hands at trying to digest ANYTHING about it.

Rumors are rife as to whether Google and the Authors Guild will go back to the drawing board (or should we say the drawing iPad?) to attempt to restructure the deal yet again if it is not accepted by Judge Chin. Though from what I've gleaned, a fairly obvious solution might be to simply put the onus on Google, rather than on the rights holders. Instead of forcing the rights holders to be the ones to OPT OUT of the gargantuan undertaking (thus allowing Google to scan at will if you, the rights holder, don't notify them you aren't interested in allowing them to do this)if, instead, the rights holders must OPT IN before Google could scan any title, it seems many of the objections would go away.

But of course, there's the rub. That would put a serious crimp in the ease of uploading and, yes, SELLING, books.

As was further reported in the AP story by Larry Neumeister today, Sarah Canzoneri, who is one of the plaintiffs against the settlement and a member of the Children's Book Guild, summed up the opposition view fairly succinctly:

"It's not going to be a great library, it's going to be a good store."

Not for nothing, but Google spokespersons' comments rarely mention the ka-ching involved for them (and please, if you understand how the trickle down monetary theory would work in this convoluted quagmire for publishers and authors, let me know!).

Sorry to dash your hopes.

That's all for now folks.

I'm off to play with my new e-book reader (Yes, sad but true, I've been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century) and prep for my pitch at the upcoming March 13 first annual Liberty States Fiction Writers' conference in New Jersey.

There's plenty more to come on digital news, personnel shifts, and the glorious world of book publishing. Soon!

Until then, have you made your presence known in the book-buying community today? A day without a post, tweet, comment or blog is a day wasted when promoting your "brand"!