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Old 02-06-2010, 11:35 AM   #1
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Author's Guild: We don't want to be the RIAA

An article on CNet News about blog posts from the Author's Guild at:
Quote:
The Authors Guild agreed to a controversial settlement with Google because it feared repeating the mistakes that the music industry has made in dealing with digital works, it said Friday.

"Copyright victories tend to be Pyrrhic in the digital age," the Guild wrote. If the Guild had prevailed in its suit against Google, it said it believed that copyright infringement would have just moved elsewhere, just as court victories won by the RIAA over Napster led to the rise of services like Kazaa and others.

And if it had lost, the Guild said it couldn't have guaranteed copyright protection for in-print books, which under the settlement Google is not allowed to scan without an agreement with the rights holder. "Nothing gets illegal file-sharing going quite so much as millions of unsecured digital works floating around the Internet," the Guild wrote.

At least musicians can go on tour and sell concert tickets to performances of their works; that's not exactly an option for authors, the Guild wrote. "For most authors, markets created by copyright are all we've got."
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But the Authors Guild doesn't think there was any other way to ensure that authors receive compensation for their work and avoid the Napsterization of the book publishing industry.

"Protecting authors' interests has always been our top priority: in this case a timely harnessing of Google was the best way to do it."
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