Indian Authors approach US Court over Google Book Settlement

Google Book Settlement Project has been a controversy child and the controversy over settlement has reached Indian shore as well.

Couple of Indian publishers and authors (including Star Publications, Abhinav Publications, Daya Publication House and Pustak Mahal along with the Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation and Federation of Indian Publishers), have approached New York District Court for IRRO (Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation) royalties (source).

Google Book Alliance, GBS 2.0

Open Book Alliance has come out against the GBS 2.0 (Google Book Settlement) over following key points:

  • Version 2 still gives Google a de facto exclusive license to “unclaimed works” (which includes millions of books, including “orphan works” and beyond), which will be the largest digital database of books in history.
  • Version 2 still forces rights-holders to grant Google a very broad license to use copyrighted books to improve any and all of their commercial services, without compensation for those uses.  Google has also indicated that it will still scan and display portions of non-U.S. books that are no longer subject to the proposed deal, forcing those rightsholders to have to sue Google in federal court to have their copyrights respected.
  • Version 2 still requires anyone other than Google to face the uncertainties of copyright infringement litigation if they want to try to get access to a comparable license to digital books.[more]

Essentially, what this implies is that Indian authors and publishers are forced to comply to this agreement, by default and will lose revenues once the books are digitized (Google has scanned books in Indian vernacular languages without any permission from authors/publishing house).

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