Google Book Settlement - It Affects New Zealand Authors/Songwriters

The Google Book Search settlement agreement is the settlement agreement reached in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York after the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers sued Google in 2005 citing "massive copyright infringement" related to its Google Books Library Project. The settlement will provide an avenue for copyright owners of out of print books to submit claims to Google, form the Book Rights Registry, and allow Google to sell advertisements and digital versions of these books, while paying 63 percent royalties to the copyright owners.

The Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement and bring it into force at the Fairness Hearing to be held on October 7, 2009.

source: Wikipedia

Just a heads up (and please pass it on) that there is a MASSIVE class settlement going on in the USofA-land with copyright holders and Google which has a lot of implications to New Zealand authors/copyright holders that should be widely understood and acted upon - yes, you have something to DO!

So, where to start?
I'd start with the excellent summary at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Book_Search_Settlement_Agreement

Then there is the official Google Books Settlement Agreement website that gives the latest deadlines, details of what's happening and all forms you'll need: http://www.googlebooksettlement.com/

Here's Google's own version from their point of view: http://books.google.com/googlebooks/agreement/

It's also a good idea to read views from respected voices around the world:
Note: I do not endorse, condone or otherwise support the views held within any of the links. I give them to you so that YOU can make up your mind.

What's the latest news (which is certainly hotting up as the 7th October deadline approaches): http://news.google.com/news?q=google book settlement agreement

The last thing anyone in New Zealand should think is, "This only applies to America!" - as the official FAQs says:
9. I am not a United States citizen, or I live outside of the United States. Am I included in this Settlement?

Yes, most likely you are. If you are a citizen of another country or live in another country, you are likely to own a U.S. copyright interest if:
  • Your Book was published in the United States;
  • Your Book was not published in the United States, but your country has copyright relations with the United States because it is a member of the Berne Convention; or
  • Your country had copyright relations with the United States at the time of the Book’s publication.

New Zealand IS a member of the Berne Convention.

Get reading, get involved and do what you have to do!

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