Google, Book Publishers Settle

Google's plans to create the world's largest digital library moved closer this week with settlement of a 2005 copyright infringement law suit. The Financial Times reports that Google is paying $125 million to the Author's Guild and members of the Association of American Publisher and will "fund the creation of a Book Rights Registry modelled on ASCAP, a copyright clearing house for the music industry." (tip)continue reading →

EU Copyright Following US Tracks

According to ArsTechnica, the European Union is proposing to expand musical copyright terms from its current 50 years by adding 45 years. The argument? "[A]ging performers can't afford to be cut off from sources of income just when they need them the most."

The EU recommendation ignores the advice of a University of Amsterdam law professor who heads the Institute for Information Law (IViR). In 2006 and 2007, the IVir produced two reports for the EU that concluded "that a copyright term extension would be a bad idea with costs for consumers, competitors, and society as a whole." You can read results of the research in this paper: Never Forever: Why Extending The Term Of Protection For Sound Recordings Is A Bad Idea (pdf).

Reportedly, a commission in the UK also determined that this extension would be a "bad idea." …continue reading →