Thursday, June 25, 2009

Roy Blount Jr. Addresses the Orphanage

Authors Guild president Roy Blount Jnr. addresses his flock on the issue of the copyright Orphans 'created' (not really) by the Google Book Settlement. This is thematic of my post earlier this week. (Link).
When, you may ask, is a book consigned to the orphanage? Some people have the impression that most out-of-print books are orphans. That's not true. Most authors I know have written some books that are out of print. Me too. We are all findable. So are most of the authors I don't know. Many of us have produced books that included excerpts from other copyrighted work. The Guild did a survey a few years ago on how difficult it is for authors to clear rights to these excerpts. Of the authors that had tried, 85% reported that they had been "rarely" or "never" unable to reach the rightsholder to ask permission. I sit on the board of the Authors Registry, a non-profit organization that helps pay authors for photocopy and other uses of their books from overseas. Its success rate at finding authors of out-of-print books is upwards of 80%. If you look for authors, the odds of finding them go way up.

1 comment:

bowerbird said...

this is what the bureaucracy set up
by the "settlement" will do, all right.

they'll spend $100 to track down
an author to deliver a check for
34 cents.

and for this "service", roy blount jr.
will pull down a six-figure salary...

talk about a boondoggle...

hey, it works for ascap and b.m.i.!