Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Google Books and the EU

Dagens Nyheter's Juan Flores has taken up the question of the Google book digitization project, reporting that Germany intends to raise the matter at next week's meeting of EU ministers of culture. Attitudes among EU members differ, though. As Eric pointed out in the comments:
"the German publishers' association was critical of Google; the Swedish publishers' association sat on the fence, leaving it to individuals to decide for themselves."
See also in this blog: Orphans and Foundlings


Eric Dickens said...

The Booksellers' Association (BA) in the UK have also been discussing this, as Juan Flores points out in his DN article. Their take on events can be found at:

The key question is simply whether one commercial body has the right to, in effect, monopolise a huge section of bookselling. In Britain too, opinion amongst publishers and the BA is divided. The BA's point of view:

[QUOTE] The BA added that in the long term any deal would deny the customer a choice of retail channels and as well as the interactive experience of shopping, which can help break little known authors. "This recent agreement, if ever adopted in the UK and Ireland, would have a hugely damaging effect on the publishing and bookselling industry and, consequently, for authors and the public as well," it stated. [END QUOTE]

"Little known authors" will inevitably include translations and poetry.

The Federation of European Publishers is also against this form of monopoly.

David McDuff said...

The BA is not really a very influential body - the PA has more clout. It will be interesting to see what stance the PA eventually takes on this issue. So far it has said that it welcomes the Book Settlement.