Is this the solution for orphan works? Google has reached a $125 million settlement with book authors, which will create a Book Rights Registry to ensure authors get paid royalties from advertising on Google Book Search.
According to Google, the deal will be great for everyone!
First, it will give readers digital access to millions of in-copyright books; second, it will create a new market for authors and publishers to sell their works; and third, it will further the efforts of our library partners to preserve and maintain their collections while making books more accessible to students, readers and academic researchers.
Google also thinks this will address the orphan works problem – older works possibly under copyright that can't be shared or mixed or archived because it's so hard to discover the copyright holder, if one even exists – because the money will attract copyright holders to step forward.
We think the Registry will help address the "orphan" works problem for books in the U.S., making it easier for people who want to use older books. Since the Book Rights Registry will also be responsible for distributing the money Google collects to authors and publishers, there will be a strong incentive for rightsholders to come forward and claim their works.
Details on the settlement here.