Google: Books deal is good for everyone

Google offers its defense of the Books settlement.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor

Google has posted four main points chief legal officer David Drummond will make to Congress today.

  • Nothing about the settlement changes our firm belief that copying for the purpose of indexing is a fair use that is encouraged by existing copyright law precedents.
  • The settlement is structured to make it easier for anyone – including Google’s competitors – to clear rights and license out-of-print books. Nothing in it makes it any more difficult for others to license these books.
  • The settlement mostly affects only a very small segment of the book world – in-copyright, out-of-print books, which represent less than three percent of the commercial book market. Even though commercial demand may be low, we still believe it’s important to our culture and our literary history for people to be able to find and read these books, and for rightsholders to be able to market and sell them.
  • The settlement is a strong complement to, and not a substitute for, orphan works legislation, which Google supports. An “orphaned” book is an abandoned book. Many out-of-print books, however, are not abandoned, and the registry created by the settlement will resolve legal disputes between authors and publishers over digital rights for older books.

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