STATUS: Four more hours until I can go home and vote!
What’s playing on the iPod right now? BOBBY JEAN by Bruce Springsteen
Oh my. I’m reading all my daily news feeds this afternoon and I have to say that even I was stunned at the Media Bistro headlines.
Get a load of this:
Time Inc. plans 600 layoffs
Christian Science Monitor to go Web-only (not bad news per se but certainly sign of the times I think!)
Gannett will Cut Ten Percent of Newspaper Jobs
McGraw Hill Cuts 270 Jobs
In other big, big news, from Wall Street Journal Google settles lawsuit [link from the AP] regarding book scanning and book search. And yes, it means one more thing to talk about during deal negotiations as this is yet another revenue stream. Luckily, my contracts manager and I already have discussed Google revenue and where it falls in many of our contracts.
Publishers Marketplace has several key stories regarding the news. [Click here and here] You may or may not have to subscribe to see the full story. And if you want to read the 141 page settlement, you certainly can by clicking here. I suggest, at the very least, reading Attachment A: Author-Publisher Procedures. Also, here’s the settlement administration link.
One of the big questions being kicked around is the difference between commercial availability and “in print.” Does the presence of a book in Google’s book search program constitute a work being in print? There’s a lovely explanation of the two tests to determine so in the Author-Publisher procedure. And, according to the Author’s Guild, the answer is no as the OOP clause in the contract still prevails and that should contain a sales threshold that defines whether a book is in print. From what I’ve read of the settlement, that is indeed correct.
But it’s still tricky. What happens when a book is considered OOP (and the rights have reverted to the author) but Google still makes the text searchable on their book search site (and is potentially generating revenue for that)?
Good question. And this too is addressed. Will Google then send statements (and checks) to the authors who hold the rights? Yes, they should (as that is covered under the Author-controlled Section 4.1 of Author-Publisher Procedures Attachment) but the onus is solely on the author and there are a lot of steps outlined! [Payment is detailed in 6.2]
And authors and agents thought it was hard enough extracting information from publishers regarding their royalty statements. This could take revenue tracking to a whole new level.
It’s a brave new world, isn’t it? Happy reading.