We've discussed the fallout from Google's settlement with the Authors Guild a few times already. Now the issue is made pointed again by a Wall Street Journal editorial claiming that the settlement will ruin a functioning copyright system if it is finally ratified, as expected, in June by a federal court. Reader daretoeatapeach writes: "In the US this will establish a Book Rights Registry where authors can opt-in to 63% of the revenues of each book, the rest going to Google. While previously Amazon had cornered the market on e-books, Google's partnership with Sony will create a serious dent: 500,000 books to Amazon's 250,000. Though Google is currently only releasing the books that are in the public domain, they ultimately plan to sell the 7 million e-books they've scanned (and counting). This raises a lot of questions about the future of publishing: Do we want only one company (e.g. Google) controlling access to information? Should publishers get a cut of the money, at least as long as their book is being scanned? Will broader access to trade journals affect their relationship and reliance on libraries? If, in the future, more authors opt out of the traditional publishing model, when will this hit the 'recession-proof' book industry? And has the publishing industry learned any lessons from MP3s?"
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