The Google settlement has been one of the big topics for authors and publishers these days. ARS Technica reports on the position that Oxford Univeristy Press is taking. While this isn’t SFWA’s position, we thought it was interesting to see how another organization approached it.
The settlement between Google and book copyright holders has been examined by everyone from librarians to the US Department of Justice. Most of the issues identified by outside parties have focused on two issues: the market power it cedes to Google, and the ability of the public to access the knowledge that is contained in out-of-print works. The latest organization to weigh on the settlement is Oxford University Press, which occupies an interesting position, as it’s both a publisher of copyrighted works and has a mission of disseminating knowledge. As such, the position taken by the head of its US division is quite nuanced: the deal is flawed, but may be essential for maintaining the public’s access to knowledge.