Publishing Point meeting with Michael Healy, Executive Director, Book Rights Registry
November 18, 2009 | 5:19 pm
By Paul Biba
Here are the notes that I’m taking during the lecture. No particular order or format. Healy’s slides will be made available at Publishing Point. Since most of what he said has already been reported I only note those things that captured my interest:
Lawsuit filed in October, 2005. Google believed that digitizing the books and making digital snippets was “fair use”, and that belief was never actually tested because of settlement. Journals, periodicals, letters, manuscripts, music, lyrics excluded. Google’s use of books is limited to the geographic limits of the US. For in-print books the rights holder must opt in and reverse for out of print books.
Probably the largest class action suit ever undertaken and is the largest notice program ever done. Required that every library in the US and every university be given an access terminal to view the works. Book Rights Registry will be initially funded with $34 million.
Registry: identify and locate rightsholders; set up mechanisms for rightsholders to work with Google, distribute revenues to rightsholders, licenses other organizations, dispute resolution.
Foreign objections: no/inadequate consultation, imperfections in notice process, large anti-Google sentiment (Google makes people very nervous in Europe) and anti-American feeling caused by being afraid of American hegemony.
How do you know if your out of print book has been scanned? There is a settlement administrator’s website that has all the books listed.
In response to my question he doesn’t know why New Zealand was excluded. Same question arises with South Africa.
Success of Registry will depend on its ability to handle vast amounts of metadata relating to the works.
In 10 months of massive claiming haven’t seen massive opt outs or massive removals, as a matter of fact just the opposite.
Can’t buy the published output of the 20th Century! Current front list is well digitized as is the corpus of books before the 20th Century. This is the missing link.