The Google Books Nightmare. Read all about it here:
For a paltry settlement of $60 per book, Google claimed digital publishing rights with or without author consent as a part of a 300 page settlement with 200 pages of amendments, written in such a way as to virtually guarantee that almost any author would not see their $60 for…well, goodness knows when. The contract was a NET agreement.
The case has been winding its way through the courts for years. And it looks bad for poor Google. A recent court case has probably killed any chance of a settlement. The Department of Justice has repeatedly kicked this one back already.
New York Law School’s James Grimmelmann didn’t mince words. “The Google Books settlement—any settlement—is now dead,” he noted. “There is no square one: this case is going back to litigation.”
Review the famous Tasini case. Tasini is also involved in the recent fight against multi-millionaire moocher Ariana Huffington, whose sale of The Huffington Post netted her a cool $315 million, and her team of unpaid bloggers…well, lots of unpaid.
The seven-justice majority opinion penned by Justice Ginsburg found that “[b]oth the print publishers and the electronic publishers … have infringed the copyrights of the freelance authors.” In the end, the court concluded “that the Electronic Publishers infringed the Authors’ copyrights by reproducing and distributing the Articles in a manner not authorized by the Authors and not privileged by sec. 201(c). We further conclude that the Print Publishers infringed the Authors’ copyrights by authorizing the Electronic Publishers to place the Articles in the Databases and by aiding the Electronic Publishers in that endeavor.”
I’m thinking this may be one of the (many) reasons people are turning from blogging to link sharing activities like Twitter. You can still get your point across without a lot of labor, share your info or ideas, and not make some uber-blogger rich off your hours of effort. A 140 character tweet is a lot less effort than a blog post.
This is just the beginning. People are seeing the techies make all the money and treating the art/writing labor like dirt.
They’re beginning to see why the techies are so anxious to get ahold of content. As much of it as they can for free, by convincing as many people as possible that they’re going to make them famous. The only value is in code. There’s no value in 0′s and 1′s, I mean art. Or writing. Or journalism.
Without content, code is just a bunch of numbers.
Huffpo even nominated one of these unpaid bloggers for a Pulitzer, but when that blogger came asking for a paycheck, they told her her work wasn’t worth money.
Worth a Pulitzer, but not worth money.
Pull the other one.