Thursday, December 24, 2009

Point and Counterpoint

Last Friday, sci-fi and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin resigned from the Authors Guild, saying:
. . . you have sold us down the river.

I am not going to rehearse any arguments pro and anti the “Google settlement.” You decided to deal with the devil, as it were, and have presented your arguments for doing so. I wish I could accept them. I can’t. There are principles involved, above all the whole concept of copyright; and these you have seen fit to abandon to a corporation, on their terms, without a struggle.
Yesterday, the Authors Guild responded. Here is a portion of that response:
Constructive engagement -- in this case turning Google's infringement to our advantage -- is sometimes the only realistic solution. Google's scanning project won't be the only battlefield, there are countless challenges ahead. We need the institutional resources to deal with those challenges. We need the Book Rights Registry, our ASCAP, as desperately as the music industry needed its with the advent of radio.

The settlement is a good one for authors. It will open up new streams of revenues for authors from out-of-print books, books that provide no income to authors now. The settlement allows authors to decide whether, when and to what extent to make their works available through Google.
Go here to read Le Guin's letter.

Go here to read the Authors Guild response.

2 comments:

Renée Harrell said...

Maya, thanks for the Christmas Eve post! As wanna-be sci-fi writers, we've enjoyed the works of Ursula K. LeGuin and this exchange is an interesting one.

We've also been enjoying your blog. We've provided a link to your site via our own website (MarsNeedsWriters.com). It's on our Blog-O-Rama. If you'd rather not be linked to such a disreputable site, just let us know.

All best,
Renee and Harrell

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Failure is the mother of success...................................................