Tuesday, 03 March 2009
A compensation to its partners has been claimed from Google by CEDRO. This compensation arises from the agreement signed in October between Google and an American writers' association and group of publishers. The publishers had brought a lawsuit over an alleged violation of copyrights by Google, who scanned catalogued books from some American university libraries, without the authorization from the copyright owners. According to this agreement, those owners whose work was scanned without authorization will be paid an indemnification by Google.
The Spanish copyright owners (writers and publishers) must decide before May 5th 2009 whether to adhere to the settlement agreement reached between the American writers and publishers on the one hand and Google on the other, before the court of New York, within a trial process.
If the copyright owners do not express their will not to adhere to the agreement before the fixed date, it will be considered that they wish to stick to the agreement.
The consequences for the owners not adhering to the agreement are the following:
The materials scanned by Google are considered, for all practical purposes, to have been made without authorization from the owners, unless the owners had authorized it beforehand.
The owners will keep their right to claim compensation from Google for the scans through legal channels as well as to prevent Google from continuing to scan their books.
The agreement does not affect in any way these owners.
The consequences for the owners adhering to the agreement are the following:
They can submit proposals for the modification of the agreement as well as any comments or objections.
They can bring claims on the agreement before the court of New York at the hearing that will be held on June 11th 2009.
They give consent to the scans performed by Google, renouncing any lawsuit against Google.
They have the right to be indemnified by Google for the scans performed in the past without authorization, in accordance with the agreement provisions, and to submit the corresponding petition before January 5th 2010. CEDRO, on its members' behalf, can proceed to collect those indemnifications.
They allow Google to use the scanned works, receiving in return 63% of the profits earned by Google for that use.
Before April 5th 2011, they can remove their books from the Google database and deny their use. Yet, this does not imply the destruction of the scanned copy made by Google.
They will receive from Google a scanned copy of their books so that the owners can use it in their website.
The decision of not adhering to the agreement is reversible, since a future adhesion can be negotiated with Google, whereas the decision of adhering to the agreement is irreversible. If the copyright owner adheres to the agreement, the only way to prevent Google from using the books will be to exercise the owner's right to removal before April 5th 2011.
The authorization for using the books granted to Google by the owners who have adhered to the agreement is not an exclusive authorization. Therefore, copyright owners can allow other third parties, even Google's competitors, to enjoy the same use conditions.
As a general rule, photographs, designs and graphic materials, illustrations (except for illustrations of children's books) and other pictures and works with any visual content included in the books are outside the scope of the agreement.
The use that Google can make of the books owned by writers and publishers who adhere to the agreement varies according to whether the book is catalogued or has been discontinued. The agreement foresees a more intensive use of the discontinued books than for the books for sale, although the copyright owners can restrict the use of each specific item.
As for discontinued books, the copyright owners who have adhered to the agreement grant Google view uses, i. e., access uses (such as institutional subscriptions, purchases or public access services, among others), preview uses, extract views or bibliography views. Nevertheless, the owners can authorize Google to enjoy one or more of these view use categories, but not the rest of them. In such a case, copyright owners have complete freedom.
Regarding books for sale, the copyright owners who have adhered to the agreement grant Google non-view uses, i. e., uses that do not imply showing the content of a book, such as bibliography, text indexing without text displaying, geographical indexing... Nevertheless, the owners can authorize Google some view uses for these books for sale.
Books can also be used for publicity or by the libraries that participate in the Google project, in compliance with the agreement.
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