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> Authors Win Class Action Status Over Google Books
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, Mod & Author
May 31, 2012 05:34PM
Here's an interesting article on the case against Google Books:
May 31, 2012 08:05PM
(last edited Jun 01, 2012 12:01PM)
Jun 01, 2012 11:57AM
While each preview is probably "fair use", all of the on-line previews for a book (Amazon, Google, etc.) taken together is an interesting case. It creates an incentive for authors to limit their distribution to one or very few vendors, to control how much preview material is available.
Jun 01, 2012 12:37PM
I don't see how anyone gains anything from this.
Let Google do the scanning and cataloguing, and I say this an author myself.
Anyone who is happy to make do with only preview snippets rather than a full book probably wasn't going to buy anything anyway.
Jun 01, 2012 12:57PM
Matt wrote: "While each preview is probably "fair use", all of the on-line previews for a book (Amazon, Google, etc.) taken together is an interesting case. It creates an incentive for authors to limit their d..."
Only if they don't understand that discoverability is more important than marketing ...
(last edited Jun 01, 2012 02:33PM)
Jun 01, 2012 02:29PM
Sharon wrote: Only if they don't understand that discoverability is more important than marketing ... "
I don't disagree with this point, nor Michael's point. I've just seen enough discussions in other forums, that some authors do fret over the previews and the availability of their work. There seems to be a larger impact on shorter books, such as children's books, comics, etc., where some previews can be pretty substantial and make an author uncomfortable.
Jun 01, 2012 04:08PM
Matt wrote: "There seems to be a larger impact on shorter books, such as children's books, comics, etc., where some previews can be pretty substantial and make an author uncomfortable.
That is very true. I do think it's possible to go too far, though. An acquaintance of mine has decided to write a book, and she's started an author blog in which she tells her potential readers that she is not going to tell them anything about the plot, genre or characters because she doesn't want anyone to "steal her idea." I'm not sure how going to that extreme builds readership; there needs to be a happy medium.
Jun 03, 2012 06:39AM
any decently informed lay person (not to mention attorneys) will tell you that "fair use" is a very dicey, slippery, indefinable thing. Where the line is seems to depend on the facts and merits of each individual case the question arises in, rather than being based on some hard and fast measurable quality. What's a legal excerpt from a one word poem? A single letter? If you go by percentages, it now all depends on how many letters are in that one word.
Beyond that issue: haven't we learned by now that a monopoly/near monopoly/quasi-monopoly/effective monopoly in any circumstance always turns out to be a bad thing?
Suppoose Google's algorithm determines, at some time in the future, that "most people who like porn of a particularly disgusting nature also liked this author's book..." and you happen to be the author and they stick an (in)appropriate quote from your story below the come-on for the porn?
Rights holders are the only ones who should have any control over the recording, distribution, archiving and ancillary uses of the works. Orphaned works should be placed in a separate pile and made available to the general public, with a general fund from purchases that can be used if and when an orphan turns out not to be an orphan, and archival materials should be available to any and all academic pursuits, but not associated with advertising unless both the rights holder in question AND the viewer have opted IN to a program. The default should be and must always remain opt IN, not opt OUT.
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