Google Books Settlement: Now featuring me

I’ve blogged twice about the Google Books Settlement (here and here), in addition to following it at considerable length on Open Access News. Now, I’m part of it!

A footnote in Pamela Samuelson’s objection tipped me off:

Most other signatories [to the brief] … are members of the Author Subclass by virtue of the book-bound copies of their Ph.D. dissertations filed in research libraries of the universities from which they received their degrees.

I hadn’t realized that dissertations were eligible “works” under the terms of the settlement. That means my late mother’s dissertation, for which I now exercise copyright, would be subject to the settlement terms. An email to the class counsel confirmed it.

I’ve claimed the work on the settlement site. It’s not listed as having been digitized. I’ve set the options as permissive as possible, including a zero price for consumer purchase. (The promised option to apply a Creative Commons license isn’t yet offered.)

I don’t intend to opt out of the settlement: I support the further availability of the work (which, on balance, I think the settlement would increase). If participation brings any financial benefits, well, I’ll take them.

However, I’m entertaining the thought of joining an objection to some terms of the settlement. Since I missed the deadline to object to the original proposed settlement, I’ll only be able to object to terms revised in the amended settlement, but there’s still plenty to be wary of. My concerns are primarily competition, users’ rights (open formats, DRM, privacy), and facilitating rightsholder choices more permissive than the settlement defaults (including open access). If you know of an objection which addresses these points and is accepting additional signatories, please let me know, in the comments or by email.

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