JK Rowling, Philip Pullman threaten to boycott digital library Google BooksJanuary 28th, 2010 - 1:43 pm ICT by ANI
London, January 28 (ANI): British authors including J K Rowling and Philip Pullman have threatened to boycott Google’s new digital library over copyright issues.
The financial deal between the online giant and the writers was said to have become the bone of contention during the bid to create Google Books as the world’s biggest online library.
“Why should we have to do this because Google decided to set something up which is clearly for the benefit of Google? Google can’t afford to do it without the support of major authors - they have to come back with a better deal,” Times Online quoted Pullman’s agent Caradoc King as saying.
Anthony Goff of the David Higham agency, who represents the Roald Dahl estate, added: “The whole mechanism of the settlement is very hard to get to grips with. Everyone starts out from the point of view that Google shouldn’t have done this and are reluctant to let them profit by it, but the reality is that they have done it and authors have to take a view on whether they’re in or out.”
While Pullman told the Bookseller magazine he may drop out, Rowling’s agents at Christopher Little, said she was not in favour of letting her work be a part of the venture.
Other British authors including Helen Oyeyemi, Kamila Shamsie and Nick Harkaway also inked a petition headed by the children’s fantasy author Ursula le Guin, claiming the settlement “render[s] copyright essentially meaningless”.
A spokesman for Google said: “We can’t speak for authors, but a number of them have decided to opt into the settlement, as they realise it creates an entirely new revenue stream.” (ANI)
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