Originally Posted by paulckennedy
Can someone please explain to this LAYMAN what is exactly wrong with the Google Book Settlement?.
There are several problems with the Google Book Settlement. I'm told that there are some legal technicalities that the agreement will break.
But the big two isssues for me are:
1. The agreement allows Google to copy and profit from the work (pre-2005, I think) of anyone who doesn't explicitly ask them not to.
2. The agreement gives only Google this right. No-one else can copy/store/search/sell in-copyright (pre 2005) works without explicit permission from the copyright holders.
It puts a massive hole in the copyright laws, in favour of only Google.
Orphan works are a problem. Tracking down rights holders is tricky, and sometimes impossible. But the solution to orphan works is to change the law, not to give a single corporation a privileged position.
Orphan works can only be properly tackled by re-negotiating the Berne convention. But the US government could do one thing unilaterally that would eliminate the problem of about 2/7th of orphan works in the US - reduce the copyright term to lifetime + 50 years instead of the current lifetime + 70 years, and apply it to all post-1922 works.