E.B. Boyd, the coeditor of mediabistro.com’s BayNewser, listened in yesterday as Publishers Weekly hosted a webinar on the Google Library Project Settlement, where various experts (including some of the settlement’s architects) weighed in on whether authors whose copyright is still in force but whose books are out of print should opt out of the deal before the September deadline. The general consensus being: No.
“Opting out is something that an author should do if he or she first of all wants to sue Google,” said science journalist James Gleick, “and second of all doesn’t want his or her book ever to turn up in a Google search. If you want your book to be invisible to the community of people who search in Google, then you would want to opt out. I don’t believe that that author exists.” Richard Sarnoff of Bertelsmann concurred: “It makes far more sense to essentially do nothing… and then to decide how if at all you want your books to be displayed via this Google facility.”