[LINK] orphan books and google

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Sun Apr 12 12:00:57 AEST 2009

Death Metal writes to tell us that a growing tide 
of complaints are being piled at Google's feet in 
response to a far-reaching settlement that some 
feel will grant the giant too much power over the 
"orphan books" they have been scanning into 
digital format. The settlement could give Google 
near-exclusivity with respect to the copyright of 
orphan works ­ books that the author and 
publisher have essentially abandoned. They are 
out of print, and while they remain under 
copyright, the rights holders are unknown or 
cannot be found. "Critics say that without the 
orphan books, no competitor will ever be able to 
compile the comprehensive online library Google 
aims to create, giving the company more control 
than ever over the realm of digital information. 
And without competition, they say, Google will be 
able to charge universities and others high 
prices for access to its database. The 
settlement, 'takes the vast bulk of books that 
are in research libraries and makes them into a 
single database that is the property of Google,' 
said Robert Darnton, head of the Harvard 
University library system. 'Google will be a monopoly.'"

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the 
world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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