Tag Archives: authors

Google won the US Supreme Court case for making book extracts available for searching and viewing online


On April 18th, 2016 the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of Google in its long legal fight against the Authors Guild organization. The April 18 ruling means that the Supreme Court will not review the case that originally was filed in 2005 against Google by the Authors Guild.

The Authors Guild initiated the court case 11 years ago because the association believed (and still believes) that Google was violating copyright laws.

In 2004, Google started scanning books stored on the shelves of libraries, archives, universities and other places that had large book collections. The objective was nothing more or nothing less than to scan all the books of the world and make them searchable online. For Google, it was a mission of making all written information the humankind had created available to everyone. On the side, it could serve ads to visitors who were browsing the indexed books and make a profit.

Google started the project without asking for permissions from anyone. Google’s savvy engineers simply built clever and fast scanning machines for the job. Company’s huge data centers were ready to index and store everything that could be recovered from old (and new) books.

In the early days of the project, the U.S. based Authors Guild organization that looks after the interest of writers tried to negotiate with Google. The Guild wanted Google to stop scanning books or start paying royalties for authors whose books were not in public domain. Google declined, stating it only makes extracts available, but since then, the company has been in court in the US and in some other countries.

It has been estimated that Google had scanned 30 million books in 2012, and the work continues.

Now, however, Google has won the case, and that should be the end of it in the U.S.

google books herders boots

From the book The Herder’s Boots. http://klaava.com/the-herders-boots/

You can take a look at how Google Books works by visiting the Google search page and choosing Books. When you search, the results will be extracted from books only. This means not only old pritn books but also new ebooks. When, for instance, Klaava makes a new ebook available at Google Play online bookstore, it also automatically becomes searchable in Google Books. You can read random pages of a copyrighted work, but not the whole book in Google Books.

In Europe, EU kicked off the Europeana program in 2005 to preserve the cultural heritage of European countries. Europeana stores digitally works that have entered the public domain. It has archived more than 52 million books, artworks and other items so far. If you are interested in history, cultures or art, it is a highly recommended destination.

Europeana is run by the European Commission and hasn’t been in court because of suspected copyright violations.
europeana homepage

What does the Google vs. Authors Guild court ruling mean for authors? Not much. Perhaps some out-of-print books will be made available as ebooks because there is enough interest among audiences to read them. It should not be harmful for authors that brief extracts are available for searching and viewing. It helps book discovery and probably silences the urge to demand a share of revenue that Google makes from ads it may some day display with the book extracts.

Museum dedicated to writers to open in Chicago in 2017


Avid readers will have a new destination to visit in 2017 when the American Writers Museum opens to the public. As the museum’s name implies, it will focus on North American writers. There are many museums around the world dedicated to an individual author or authors who lived in a specific city, but a museum concept related to writers or books that has this wide scope is rare.

american writers museum, drawing

Planned exhibition.

The museum will feature themed galleries, interactive exhibits, educational programs, and special events. They will change regularly to engage visitors of all ages. Writers Hall will introduce popular authors in their own environment and it will follow travel writers like Jack Kerouac and John Steinbeck on their journeys.

Famous fictional sites will also be exhibited in Nation of Writers, such as “Tara,” “Cannery Row,” and “The House of the Seven Gables”.

The Mind of a Writer, A Writer’s Room, and Word Play are designed to unveil writers’ lives and their writing methodologies. Readers Hall will host films, talks, readings, and presentations to school classes and other groups.

The address of the museum is 180 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago city center. The opening is expected in early 2017.

Introductory video:

Planning is still ongoing for the exhibits that will be set up in the museum, but rotating exhibits will be seen in the museum. Here are a few possibilities for planned exhibits:

Nobel Laureates
Censorship: Banned Books
Villains in American Literature
Great Characters in American Literature
The Lost Generation
Coming of Age—on the Page
Revolutionary Writing
The Poetry of Revolution
The Short Story
First Novels that Rocked the World
Beat Poets
Rare Books
American Writers as Cultural Ambassadors
Regional Writing
The Agony and the Ecstasy—Love Poetry
Writers on Writers
American Plays and Playwrights
American Humorists from Mark Twain to the Present
American Literary Critics
Storytelling: Narrative Art in a Variety of Genres
The Immigrant Experience
The Native American Experience
Children’s Literature
From Page to Screen (Turning Books into Films)
The Art of Book-Making
Ethnic Literature
Literature & the Visual Arts

Books, authors and readers meet at a festival in the garden of a French castle


The town of Tours is located at the heart of the France’s spectacular castle region along the valleys of river Loire. One of the castles near Tours, Chanceaux-près-Loches, has invited authors and readers already twenty times to the castle’s beautiful garden to enjoy books and authors’ debate. French love their authors, who not only get to meet one another and readers, but who also get to pose in selfies and attend author signings.

la foret des livres, Chanceaux

Photo by Actualitté on Flickr.

La Forêt des Livres (Book Forest) is the event’s official title, but it is also known as the Woodstock of Literature. It is a one-day event that features about 200 authors and 60 000 visitors.

The event has its own web page that is worth following if you are traveling in France at the end of August. If you are planning to travel to southern France, get valuable tips for Provence and Cote d’Azur from the travel guide The Gems of Nice and the French Riviera.

la foret des livres, Chanceaux

la foret des livres, Chanceaux

Photos by Actualitté on Flickr.

View video by TV channel France 3 that shows the beautiful castle and the garden where the event takes place:

The Best Ebook Self-Publishing Services as Rated by Authors


Ebooks not only generate income for established authors, but they have also enabled thousands of new authors to kickstart their writing careers. New ebook publishers and self-publishing services provide opportunities for writers to get their works in front of large audiences.

The Independent Publishing Magazine has collected an extensive list of self-publishing services, and also ranked the services. Authors who have used self-publishing services themselves have provided the ratings for the list.

The Independent Publishing Magazine
The Independent Publishing Magazine.