IFJ Calls on Writers to Demand Their Rights from Google

In a letter addressed to journalists' unions

around the world, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called

on all journalists who have had their books scanned by Google through its Google

Book Search to claim their rights to payment under a settlement in which Google

has agreed to compensate authors whose rights have been violated.

A dispute over Google scanning millions of

books led to a class action launched by United

States authors and publishers' groups for violation of US copyright

law. The action resulted in a settlement which was challenged in front of a US tribunal and

a new settlement will be proposed on 9 November.

"Journalists who wrote books or chapters that

have been scanned by Google without their permission have the right to claim

their authors' rights", says Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "and they

should do so immediately. The Google settlement still contains provisions that

could severely affect journalists' rights, including what they are paid and their

moral rights. We need to follow what's going on, demand our rights and remain prudent."

To date, Google has scanned over 10 million

books. Authors from all over the world are affected. The current Google Book

settlement is offering $60 compensation for the

scanning of an entire book: an amount that is significantly less than the

minimum statutory damages of US $750 in

the US,

claims the IFJ.

"This settlement is expected to have

far-reaching impact on authors and the publishing industry", says White: "Specific

attention should be paid to the need for authors to receive a clear reward for

their work. Future plans of Google to scan newspapers and magazines need to be developed

in full consultation with authors".


For more information

contact the IFJ at

  +32 2 235 2216      

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists

in 123 countries worldwide