Usborne, Phaidon, Sheil Land and leading authors say no to Google
22.02.10 | Benedicte Page

Publishers Usborne and Phaidon, literary agency Sheil Land Associates, and a stellar list of authors from Jeffrey Archer to Zadie Smith have all opted out of the revised Google Book Settlement.

Court documents related to the Fairness Hearing held in New York last week (Thursday 18th February) have revealed details of those who opted out of the revised Settlement entirely before the January 28th deadline.

The documents show that “timely exclusions” to the settlement include children’s specialist Usborne Publishing, illustrated publisher Phaidon Press and novelists such as Jacqueline Wilson, Jeanette Winterson, Jeffrey Archer, Anne Fine, Helen Dunmore, Conn Iggulden, John le Carre, Andrea Levy, Melvyn Bragg and Simon Sebag Montefiore.

Literary estates opting out include those of Roald Dahl, H G Wells, J G Ballard, James Herriott and Neville Shute.

Sonia Land of Sheil Land said the agency had opted out on behalf of its clients at an early stage last year. “We have so many hundreds of clients and we have opted out en masse,” she said. “I have seen a few letters from other agencies [to authors about the Google Settlement] and the advice was so vague. I was very proactive – I thought, ‘There’s no way Google have the right to scan the works of my authors.’ They had some of our in-print books, which are still selling in huge quantities, and they had no right to do it.”

She added: “I’m so angry with what Google did. Copyright is something we fought for.”

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