In my last post, I took a very brief look at the Settlement terms. For an excellent summary of the deal, I highly recommend Jonathan Band's 'Guide For the Perplexed'.
The real meat of the deal is in-copyright works which are not commercially available. According to Google, about 70% of published books fall into that category, with 20% in the public domain and the remaining 10% being in-copyright and commercially available.
Under the settlement, the default position is that Google has display rights over this 70% category.
The settlement enables Google to provide both free and fee-based services to all categories of US users plus a range of paid-for Institutional subscriptions to educational institutions and public libraries in the US, with Google keeping 37% of revenues and 67% to be paid to authors and publishers via the Book Rights Registry (BRR).
So how does it affect authors, publishers and other rights holders (e.g. book illustrators) outside the US? Answer: very directly.
The definition of "Book" in The Settlement Agreement does not exclude 'foreign works' (e.g. a book first published in the UK) so, by default, they are covered by the deal. So although the deals that Google can offer are limited to users and institutions in the US only, the works it can make available to them include 'foreign works'. It also means that rights holders of 'foreign works' are entitled to participate in distributions made by the BRR provided they follow the rules.
In my next post, I'll give my views on the 'winners and losers' under the deal.
Lastly, it was nice to see my blog acknowledged by e-Justice Blog ( a good source for blawgs) as being in the 'Top 50 Internet & Digital Law Blogs'. So keep reading, you're in good company!
Have a good week!