Posting to RadCat
On 4/20/2016 2:41 AM, James Agenbroad wrote:
I closed my 6th, Bibframe, comment saying “I cannot predict what the courts will decide”–about authors’ rights vs. online full text retrieval. Page A13 of today’s Washington Post has an article headlined “Google wins legal battle over program to scan books.” In short, the Supreme Court declined to review a lower court’s decision. in Google’s favor. If this leads authors to cease writing there will be nothing to be cataloged. I hope this does not happen.
This is one of those assertions I do not understand. I don’t know how the Google scanning project has hurt any authors financially. All you get are “snippets” unless the publisher and/or author allows a fuller preview. As far as I have seen, everyone concerned has admitted that the snippets cannot take the place of the book. In fact, they could actually help authors if the public rediscovers some of their out-of-print books and prod the publishers into reprinting them. Google Books is for book discovery, except in the case of public domain books that can be downloaded.
It seems to me that so long as the publishers refuse to make ebooks more appealing by giving them more realistic prices, no author is going to lose any money (or make very much) with ebooks. See for example, “The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu” in Amazon where the hardcover costs less than the Kindle ebook. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1476777403) This happens all the time and is outrageous. All it shows is that publishers do not want to sell ebooks. If the ebook had a decent price, somebody might actually buy it and the author might make some money, but this way it is the author who gets blasted.
For another view of the new possibilities today from an established and successful author, I suggest Barry Eisler. Here is a provocative interview where he shares his opinion (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czaw6uEFAf8) or, for something more in depth, there is his book “Be the monkey” available as a free ebook at http://www.barryeisler.com/essays.php#monkey