cross-posted from http://freelancerights.blogsphttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifot.com
by Irvin Muchnick
Time for Congress to Help Pave the Information Highway
In contrast with many fellow writers, I believe Google does much more good than bad. I also think the Mountain View Leviathan’s audacious book-scanning project holds great promise as a public utility and comprehensive literary marketplace. But last week’s decision by a federal judge to torpedo Version 2.0 of the Google Books settlement, negotiated by one publishers’ and one authors’ trade groups, http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhas taken the work of private class action attorneys close to their richly deserved dead end.
The final cul-de-sac may be the long-anticipated ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the related freelance journalists’ case against electronic database companies; which was known at the Supreme Court as Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick when the justices kicked it back down to the lower courts last year. (I am the lead objector to that particular hash, whipped together by the Authors Guild, the bad cook of the Google Books fiasco, in collaboration with sous chefs from the National Writers Union and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.)
CONTINUED TODAY AT BEYOND CHRON, THE SAN FRANCISCO ONLINE NEWSPAPER: