Sun-Times on Copyright

10 03 2009

The Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg had an interesting column in the Sunday edition about his acceptance of a class action settlement involving Google Books.  As an author, Steinberg is glad to see the settlement which he sees as a good balance of access to a wide variety of works and compensating the authors.  Steinberg explains that as an author and a newspaper columnist he needs access to research tools and, therefore, is glad to see tools like Google Books created.  But as an author, he also wants  to be paid when his books are used which the class settlement accomplishes according to Steinberg.  Steinberg goes on to predict that we will see other internet-based copyright issues resolved in similar manners over time.  Steinberg may be right and he hits on advice I often give about copyrights:  if you want to use something ask, copyrightholders are generally glad to share their work and often only request a small payment in the form of money or even just acknowledgment.

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