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Authors Protest Google’s Plan to Digitise Books

Issued: September 01 2009
New Zealand authors have called for a government inquiry into Google’s plans to scan and digitise books, according to a report from the New Zealand Press Association.
The New Zealand Society of Authors say Google is breaching the 1886 Berne Convention and stealing their intellectual property and livelihood.
Authors around the world have until September 4 to opt-out of the US$125 million class action Google Book settlement.
New Zealand authors object to Google’s digitization plans in part because of the out-of-court settlement which will allow Google to make the digitised materials available to users in the US, although generally not in other countries. Google will consider books which are not available readily in the US as out-of-print books and make them available to users, even if those books are easily obtained elsewhere in the world.
New Zealand Society of Authors chief executive Maggie Tarver said authors who fail to act by the September 4 deadline would be considered to be part of the settlement. “According to Google, if we don’t opt out, we are in, whether we like it or not. If you opt out, anything Google does with your work will no longer affect you. In other words, if you don't opt-in, Google will not only consider your books to be out of print and out of copyright, it will consider you, the author, to be dead.”


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