Three Hundred Years Since the Statute of Anne, from 1709 to Cyberspace
Edited by Lionel Bently, Uma Suthersanen and Paul Torremans
Chapter 20: Problem or Solution? Mass Digitisation of Library Stocks and the Google Book Settlement
Christian Sprang* 1 INTRODUCTION Opening up complete library stocks for online uses is one of the greatest challenges presented to the book industry by the nascent twenty-first century – not only from a technical viewpoint, but from a legal viewpoint as well. There is hardly a better time for the ALAI to deal with this issue than a few months before the decision of the District Court in New York on a final approval of the Google Book Settlement. In this contribution, I would like to investigate the question of whether it is recommendable, from the viewpoint of Copyright Law, to expand the concept of mass digitisation and online inclusion of books developed by the parties to the Google Book Settlement, which is currently limited to the United States, to the rest of the world. In this discussion, I will be addressing the following aspects: ● ● ● Does it make sense, when digitising books protected by copyright, to distinguish according to whether the books are commercially available or not? Should the author of an out-of-print book be entitled to copyright as an exclusive right (opt-in solution), or is it sufficient if the owner of the copyright can prevent the digitisation of the out-of-print book (opt-out solution)? Is the solution for the online embedment of ‘orphan books’ offered by Google appropriate from an objective standpoint? * Dr Christian Sprang, Justiziar/Senior Legal Counsel, Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels. 285 286 ● Global copyright Is the planned Book Rights Registry helpful or dangerous, from the viewpoint of copyright...
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