GOOGLE: WHO OPTED OUT
A list of authors who have opted out of the Google Book Search scheme settlement has been posted at I09.
Eric Shanower and several other creators complained that they are NOT on the list of authors whose names have been submitted to the courts, even though they opted out in time. UPDATE: Shanower is now listed on the GBS website as OPTING OUT.
Some names among the 6500: Joseph Michael Straczynski, Keith RA DeCandido, Ben Templesmith, Mark Helprin, Colleen McCullough, DC Comics, Matt Groening, Marvel Entertainment, Caitlan Kiernan, George R R Martin, Spider Robinson, Stephen King, Mayo Foundation for Education and Research, Bjo Trimble, BD Wong, and , of course, Ursula K LeGuin. And me.
After finding out via Diana Kimpton that editions of both Harry Potter and The Da Vinci Code are listed in Google Book Search as “not commercially available” works, one is forced to question the effectiveness – or due diligence- of the biggest search engine in the world. Commercial availability seems to be determined by Google via ISBN # alone.
80% of the content of the “not commercially available works” are now available to read for free at Google Book Search, though no Harry Potter previews are there. Strangers in Paradise is however, though author Terry Moore claims all his works are in print, and that he did not opt in to Google’s scheme. Google claims the right to sell “not commercially available” works as digital books from which Google will take a 37% share. (Da Vinci Code publisher Random House already settled with Google.)
Google has no incentive to determine whether or not a book is “commercially available”, any more than they have any real interest in finding the author of a so-called “orphan work”. Google is a major sponsor of the Orphan Works legislation which has been shoved before Congress off and on for years. Google stands to earn billions from the scanning and sale of these “orphan works”.
Google has googols of conflict of interest issues. It is not qualified it to find an author it has no financial incentive to find.
Hell, it can’t even figure out if Harry Potter is “commercially available”.