Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Google Settlement. Are You In?

If you’re a published author and you haven’t heard about the Google settlement, there’s something you need to know. A few days ago, announcements were made about a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit instigated by authors and publishers against Google. The lawsuit claims that Google has violated their copyrights and those of other rightsholders by digitizing authors’ books to create an electronic database of every single book published. From what I’ve been told, Google plans to digitize all books going back umpteen decades. In some cases, Google’s also been displaying short excerpts of authors’ work without their knowledge or permission. Needless to say, this does indeed violate copyright law and thus, the settlement.

Now, you writers out there have a decision to make. You can refuse to have your work digitized and opt out of the agreement, or you can decide to let Google have an electronic copy of your work and receive remuneration for it. How much remuneration and when it will be paid hasn’t been decided, as far as I can tell. But please note that I haven’t read the entire agreement and am not an expert on the topic.

There are important dates for you to know, though. If you wish to opt out of the agreement you must do so by May 9, 2009. If you wish to stay in and receive remuneration, you must fill out the form and send it in by January 10, 2010. To read the settlement and acquire instructions about making a claim, go to It’s a simple site to navigate.

Unfortunately, the downside to publishing in the electronic age is that it’s easy for things like this to happen. So, we all have to stay vigilant and share information as we find it. And I hope this information helps you.

To read excerpts of Taxed to Death and Fatal Encryption, go to
Also note, that you can order books from my website too!

1 comment:

Cheryl Tardif said...

Great post, Debra! I've heard that they're paying out $60 per book, one-time fee.

I was also advised to consider that although that's not a lot of money, it's often advantageous to be where the majority is going to be, and it looks as though the majority will be filing claims for the $60 and staying with the program.

It's definitely something to consider.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling author