Flash Fiction: a complete story
in one thousand or fewer words.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Google Book Search Rattled by DOJ

It is probably best not to comment too often on the Google Book Search controversy as it has many twists and turns. This Google Book Search article by Wired and many other publications suggests that the U.S. Department of Justice's opinion will likely delay a federal court ruling:

The Justice Department, which began looking into the proposed settlement over monopoly concerns, suggested that the settlement seeks such broad changes in copyright law that the court needs to be very careful and should reject the current version.

From the DOJ's web site news article on the Google settlement:

"Given the parties’ express commitment to ongoing discussions to address concerns already raised and the possibility that such discussions could lead to a settlement agreement that could legally be approved by the Court, the public interest would best be served by direction from the Court encouraging the continuation of those discussions between the parties and, if the Court so chooses, by some direction as to those aspects of the Proposed Settlement that need to be improved. Because a properly structured settlement agreement in this case offers the potential for important societal benefits, the United States does not want the opportunity or momentum to be lost."

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Google Books Offers Creative Commons Publishing

Maybe it's time to go trunk diving for your unsaleable novels, collections, poetry or non-fiction titles. Google Books will now offer a Creative Commons License publishing option, according to the Inside Google Books blog. You can choose from a variety of Creative Commons licenses. You would sign up with Google as a partner (a free service) to promote your book. If you are a True Believer in this form of publishing, then you'd publish your best novels or other works this way rather than your trunk novels.

Of course, you can publish the book on your own under the same license; you'd use Google's service if you think that would increase readership of the book.

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Google Book Search Expands to iPhones and Android

Google announced a "mobile version of Google Book Search, opening up over 1.5 million mobile public domain books in the US (and over half a million outside the US)...."

These books were already accessible on Google Book Search but the mobile editions were optimized for small screens. From your iPhone or Android phone, go here to search for mobile editions of the books.

FFO covered an early debate about Google Book Search. (Scroll down the archive.) If you're not familiar with Android, it is an open source mobile phone software platform shepherded by Google.

Flash Fiction Online believes its own flash fiction archive is already optimized for small screens!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Google Book Search

Google Book Search is a service by which Internet searchers can view snippets of digital copies of millions of books scanned by Google, both in-print and out-of-print. Of course, there was a class action lawsuit, led by the (American) Authors Guild. There is now a settlement that must be approved by the court. Here is a concise summary of the settlement and a joint FAQ. In suspicious brevity, though: the settlement allows Google to continue providing snippets of scanned out-of-print books, and with an opt-in/opt-out arrangement, allows authors to decide about in-print books. This lawsuit was an American action. Google must tread on slippery ground elsewhere, where precise legal definitions differ country-to-country on copyright matters.

Significantly, Google created a new model for compensation to authors and publishers for copyrighted books. Google customers will be able to buy digital copies of the books while authors and publishers share in the sales and advertising revenue for ads displayed while the customer views the books.

Opinion about this varies, of course. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) is a non-official but interested party in the settlement. Here is their statement.

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