Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Google book deal violates German copyright

Following complaints by several European countries, the German government have confirmed via a US court ruling, that Google's plans to digitise millions of books is in violation of German copyright laws. I suspect that Germany is not the only country that this applies to.

Johannes Christian Wichard, Deputy Director General of the Directorate Commercial and Economic Law, in Germany's Justice Ministry said that the deal would allow Google to "flout German laws that have been established to protect German authors and publishers, including with respect to digital copying, publishing and the dissemination of their works."

He went on to say "The decision of this court with respect to this settlement will have the dramatic and long-range effect of creating a new worldwide copyright regime without any input from those who will be greatly impacted - German authors, publishers and digital libraries and German citizens." He also made the point that German authors not published in the United States were not represented by the Authors Guild (and neither of course are British ones or for that matter any authors who live outside the US but whose books are available in that territory).

Authors have until the end of this week to raise objections to the proposed settlement, the hearing for which is due to take place on October 7th.

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