Library hosts April 13 reception honoring publication of ESL textbook
Hillsborough Community College Library (Tampa, FL) is holding a reception on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 11 a.m. ET honoring the publication of TAA member Jose Carmona's new textbook, Language Teaching and Learning in ESL Education: Current Issues, Collaborations and Practice, published in December 2010 by Kona Publishing and Media Group's Higher Education Division. The event will be held at the Ybor City Campus Library, room 201.
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Macmillan president Brian Napack calls for legislation against book pirates
Leahy to introduce updated rogue site bill
At a Feb. 16, 2011 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Chairman Patrick Leahy said he will introduce an updated version of the rogue site bill, which faced opposition from Oregon Senator Wyden last year. The Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act (S3804), or "rogue site" bill, would empower the U.S. Attorney General to initiate a proceeding in U.S. District Court to disable the domain name of an Internet website that offers downloads of pirated books. It would also bar domestic ISPs and ad service providers from processing transactions from piracy websites registered overseas. TAA members are asked to support the bill.
In an April 6, 2011 statement to the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet, Macmillan President Brian Napack called for legislation to address the worst infringers of book copyrights, cyberlocker sites, calling them the "venue of choice for book pirates."
"These personal file storage sites are known to host countless individual pirated book files and are easily searchable by consumers looking for free files using major search engines," Napack said during the committee's hearing on Promoting Investment and Protecting Commerce Online: Legitimate Sites v. Parasites, Part II. "They offer little protection for copyrighted works. To attract users and pirated content, these sites often offer payments and other incentives in exchange for uploads of content files. Not surprisingly, popular copyrighted books wind up being popular downloads on these services."
He proposed several criteria that could be used to identify cyberlocker sites that are being used for illegitimate purposes, such as whether the sites offer financial or other incentives for uploading and sharing content. A critical element to effective legislation against book piracy, he said, is engagement of legitimate Internet sites whose services are used to facilitate the sale of illegitimate products, including ISPs, search engines, payment processors, and advertising service providers, "each of whom is responsible for a key piece of the rogue website economic system."
Napack warned that "continued, unfettered growth of rogue websites" will result in not only large scale loss of sales, profits and jobs in the book publishing industry, but the disincentive for "writers to write and publishers to publish."
"It is truly demoralizing for authors to see their work, which may have taken many years to create, online for free the instant it is published," he said. "Moreover, for many authors and publishers the migration of a small share of sales from 'paid' to 'pirated' will be the difference between continuing to create books and having to find another line of work."
Read Napack's full statement (PDF)
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Negotiating foreign sales clause in book contracts
If authors are not careful when negotiating language related to foreign sales in their book contracts, they can end up earning next to nothing on international sales of their books.
Attorney Stephen Gillen said that although he cannot provide exact language authors can use to negotiate the foreign sales clause in their contracts without knowledge of the unique facts and circumstances of each case, he suggests authors use the following to start the discussion with their publisher:
“For sales outside the United States, effected through a distributor, if the distributor is an affiliate of the Publisher, then the royalty to the Author shall be calculated on the receipts of the affiliate at source. For purposes of this provision, a distributor shall be considered an affiliate if it is owned or controlled by the Publisher or if it and the Publisher are commonly owned or controlled.”
Gillen cautioned, however, that although using this language would result in royalties being calculated at the higher retail price (rather than at the deeply discounted inter-company price) it will also mean that royalties are not earned or paid until after the retail sale, which may be much later than the inter-company transaction and may not happen at all if the books do not all sell through.
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Copyright expert analyzes Google Books Settlement rejection
By Dionne Soares Palmer
According to copyright expert Lois Wasoff, the Google Amended Settlement Agreement was rejected by New York Federal Judge Denny Chin because he objected to the scope of the settlement, the adequacy of the class representation, and the statutory implications of the settlement agreement.
In a webinar discussion hosted by the Copyright Clearance Center on Wednesday, March 30, 2011, Wasoff said that Judge Chin found the scope of the Google Amended Settlement Agreement too broad. The agreement not only covered Google’s past activities, but also gave Google the rights to future uses of copyrighted materials, an arrangement that exceeds what can be approved by judges in class action lawsuits.
Judge Chin also took issue with the adequacy of the class representation of the settlement. The judge deemed that there were conflicting interests among the authors and publishers represented in the class action suit. “For example,” Wasoff said, “objections [to the settlement agreement] had been filed by academic authors, because, according to those objections, many of them have a primary interest in achieving broad dissemination of their works rather than remuneration for the dissemination of their work.” Other authors objected because they did not want their work digitized at all. On the basis of these conflicting objections, the judge concluded that the plaintiffs had not adequately represented the interests of certain class members in the settlement.
In addition, Judge Chin worried about the statutory implications of the Amended Settlement Agreement. The settlement contained an opt-out option for copyright holders rather than an opt-in option, which meant that Google would have the rights to digitize and use orphaned works commercially. The judge decided that the issue of control over orphaned works was a matter that should be decided by Congress rather than the court system.
Other issues that affected the judge’s decision were privacy issues and anti-trust considerations. The judge did not rule that the Amended Settlement Agreement violated anti-trust law, but he noted that the settlement would increase Google’s power in the online search market since they could choose to deny other companies access to the digitized orphaned works.
The Amended Settlement Agreement was the result of years of negotiation after the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild brought lawsuits against Google in response to its Google Library Project, for which Google had partnered with libraries in order to digitize their books without obtaining permission from copyright holders. The plaintiffs claimed this project constituted copyright infringement. Google claimed its use of copyrighted works was covered under the “fair use” policy.
Now that the Amended Settlement Agreement has been rejected, the Association of American Publishers, the Authors Guild, and Google must decide how they would like to proceed in the case. For example, they could appeal Judge Chin’s rejection of the Amended Settlement Agreement—an option that Wasoff thinks has little chance for success—or they could return to the courtroom and begin litigation.
Another option is to revise the Amended Settlement Agreement according to Judge Chin’s recommendations. Wasoff said that Judge Chin “stated unequivocally that many concerns would be ameliorated if the ASA were converted from an opt-out settlement to an opt-in settlement.” The judge would also like to see the settlement make a distinction between condoning Google’s past activity and providing authorization for future activity. Judge Chin made it clear that it is not within the court’s power to release Google from liability for future uses of copyrighted works.
After the rejection of the Amended Settlement Agreement, the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild made public statements that said they are both interested in making revisions to the settlement according to Judge Chin’s recommendations. However, Google’s public statement did not clearly state its intentions.
Wasoff suggested that Google may be carefully weighing its options, since revising the settlement in the ways suggested by Judge Chin may not be the best option for the company. Wasoff said that Google’s biggest advantage in the settlement was the right to use orphaned works in order toachieve its goal of compiling a complete database of digitized books. She also noted that Google’s business model is based on an opt-out format, “so it’s very possible that requiring Google to get affirmative opt-in for future uses will not, in Google’s view, meet its business needs.”
There will be a status conference held before Judge Chin on April 25th of this year. At that time, the involved parties willdecide how to move forward with the case.
Visit the Copyright Clearance Center Google Settlement Seminar Series page for more information about this case.
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TAA responds to rejection of Google Settlement Agreement
By Dionne Soares Palmer
TAA Executive Director Richard Hull said he has mixed feelings about New York Federal Judge Denny Chin’s March 22, 2011 ruling to overturn the Google Amended Settlement Agreement.
“On the one hand, it does seem that the judge is trying to be sensitive to the rights of copyright holders and I approve of that,” said Hull. “At the same time, there had been a rather careful and extensive effort at working out an agreement between author associations and Google to accommodate the interest of authors while at the same time trying to serve the interests of the users of material that may be out of print but still in copyright.”
The enormous amount of effort and negotiation to achieve a solution that seemed to be tolerable to everyone now seems to be back on the drawing board, he said.
It took five years of negotiations to develop the Amended Settlement Agreement, which would have enabled Google to digitize books and sell subscriptions to a digital database, as well as provide free previews and content snippets. Copyright holders who participated in the program would have received 63 percent of the revenue from the sale of their books. Those whose works had been digitized prior to the Amended Settlement Agreement would have received a small cash payment.
The original lawsuits were brought against Google by publishers and authors in response to Google’s 2004 decision to digitize copyrighted books as part of its Google Library Project. The plaintiffs claimed that Google’s plans violated the copyrights in the digitized works while Google argued that the digitization of books was covered under U.S. copyright law’s “fair use” policy.
Chin’s ruling puts the class action lawsuit between Google and authors associations and publishers on hold until both parties reappear before Judge Chin in April to discuss the future of the case.
Attorney Stephen Gillen said one of the chief reasons Judge Chin rejected the Amended Settlement was because “it dealt not only with claims asserted in the litigation but went far beyond that to create a business going forward for Google – which Judge Chin thought was not appropriate for a class action and was more properly the province of Congress.”
Academic authors will, for the most part, be less affected by the case, regardless of the outcome, said Gillen. “The Google Book Settlement, as proposed, covered books only, not periodicals or journals, so it was not going to affect the article writing of academic and scholarly authors.”
As far as textbook authors are concerned, Gillen said publishers typically control the rights to their books for as long as the books are kept in print, so the decision to participate would have been made by the publishers for the in-print books. Authors of out-of-print textbooks could have decided to opt-in to the Google program.
“But it would not have made sense in most cases for them to do that,” Gillen said, “because then the out-of-print book would have been available to educational institutions through an institutional subscription arrangement at a very tiny fraction of the revenue that the authors might otherwise have realized from the direct sale of a small number of copies of their books.”
Textbook authors would have been better off staying out of the Google program, he said, and as a result they are not negatively affected by the rejection of the settlement.
While the case is at a standstill, Hull suggested that TAA members who have control over their copyrighted works should study the case and think about whether they would potentially want their works to be digitized by Google, depending on how the case progresses. Hull said that “TAA and its members and attorneys will be happy through its listservs and other resources to assist people in making that decision.”
The Copyright Clearance Center will be hosting a webinar entitled “Unraveling the Rejection - The Google Book Settlement” to provide more information about the rejection of the Amended Settlement on Wednesday March 30, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern. During this one-hour webinar, copyright expert Lois Wasoff will discuss the decision and what the next steps in the case might be. TAA members can register for the webinar free of charge.
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Self-publishing: 6 questions to consider when selecting a company to produce your book
By George Kittredge
If you are planning to self-publish a book, whether it is a text book you have written or a book for a wider audience, one of the important decisions you will need to make is, “What book manufacturing company should I select to produce my book?”
Book manufacturers and book publishers are often thought of as being the same, but there are significant differences between the two. In the simplest terms, book manufacturers are strictly book printers and binders – a resource used by those who want to self-publish. Typically, they receive digital book files created by authors and produce finished books based on page size, type of paper, binding style and other book options their authors may want. Unlike book publishers, book manufacturers do not offer editorial, proofreading, design, layout, marketing and promotion, or other support services commonly offered by book publishers. As a self-publishing author, you should consider a book manufacturer as an outsourced service, in much the same manner you would a graphic designer or an editor you might hire.
To help you in your search, here are six questions to consider when evaluating a company to print and bind your book.
- Does the company offer accessible, hands-on service if and when you may need it? If you have a problem, such as while uploading a file or understanding a set of instructions, will you be able to obtain assistance in a timely manner? One of the most frustrating things for anyone who is trying to self-publish, is to encounter a problem and not be able to talk to a real person. Technology is great when it works. But when it doesn’t, it’s important to have someone you can contact to help you fix the problem or answer your questions. Look for a company that has reliable “hands-on” service. Ask them what the procedure is to get assistance if and when you may need it.
- Is the book production process easy to understand and easy to work with? Ask the book manufacturer you are considering how their process works. Look to see if there are any testimonials on their website regarding how easy their processes are.
Find out how long it will take to produce your books once they have received your digital files. If you are producing your books in a soft cover, coil bound and saddle stitch binding, they should be ready within a business week. Hard cover books may take slightly longer. If you anticipate having a tight deadline to meet, ask if you can place a rush on your project. You may have to pay an extra charge, but in certain situations, a company that offers a rush option could be a plus.
- What is the quality of their work? Every company will say they are high quality, but some are higher than others. And some may be better at producing the kind of book you want than others – particularly if you are interested in hard cover books that require special equipment, materials and expertise (i.e. faux leather covers and foil stamping).
Some of the quality indicators to look for are how long the company has been in business (although don’t always equate greater length of service with higher quality), how many authors they have worked with over the past year, the type of printing equipment they use (is it the latest technology?), and the materials and expertise that go into their binding operations. If necessary, ask for a sample of a book they have recently produced that is similar to the one you want to produce. Look for customer testimonials regarding the quality of their work, and find out what kind of guarantees they offer regarding their workmanship.
One of the advantages of working with a short-run book manufacturer is that you can produce small quantities and, if you wish to, make changes to your book files before the next production run.
- How much will it cost to produce your book? Ask if there are any set up fees or additional charges anywhere in the process. There shouldn’t be, unless you are making a special request of some kind. Look to companies where your only expense is the cost to print, bind and ship your books – and then find out exactly what this expense will be. You should also be able to determine your cost before you submit any book files or place an order. Find out how easy it is to get a price quote.
- What is the minimum quantity requirement? We’ve all heard the horror story about the author that produced 3000 copies of his new book, only to have them wind up in his garage? With today’s digital technology and short run capabilities, there is no reason to produce more copies than you need – and to produce them at a reasonable cost. Some book manufacturers have no minimum quantity requirements – even for hard cover books. But some do, so be sure to ask.
If you are creating your book for a small targeted audience (such as for a specific course or class), or if you are not sure how many books you will initially sell, a short-run book manufacturer could be your best choice. You can always increase the number of copies in future production runs as the demand for your book increases – and eliminate the fear of filling up your garage.
- Can they offer you choices? Most book manufacturers should be able to affordably produce your book in a number of sizes (height and width of pages), so you shouldn’t have to produce an 8 ½ by 11 or 6 by 9 inch book if you don’t want to. Keep in mind, however, that part of your production costs is based on how many pages can be printed from a sheet of paper. Ask if there are “optimum” page sizes you should consider that could reduce your cost.
Another choice involves the binding of your book. Highly skilled book manufacturers can give you a variety of choices. Typical choices should include a soft cover option (called perfect binding or paperback), hard cover (with either a cover wrap or dust jacket), plastic coil binding (ideal for technical books, cookbooks or other books that would benefit from lying flat for note taking) and saddle stitch binding.
One of the benefits of working with a company that offers a variety of binding choices is that it gives you the opportunity to produce your book in more than one binding style. For example, you may want to print most of your copies with a soft cover, but also produce a small quantity in a hard cover binding to send to book reviewers, special recipients or to sell through a specialty, non-traditional book outlet.
Today, an increasing number of authors are choosing to self-publish and using book manufacturers to produce their books. If you are one of them, asking the right questions will enable you to find the book manufacturer that best fits your needs.
George Kittredge is a TAA member, authored his own book in 2005, and has worked with self-publishing authors since 1997. He can be contacted by email at georgek@Book1One.com.
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Busy TAA People: Kathleen King
TAA member Kathleen King will be inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame during a ceremony April 7 in Toronto, Ontario. Members of the IACE Hall of Fame reflect the great diversity of adult and continuing education practice and scholarship and the increasingly global leadership community. King also recently published The Professor's Guide to Taming Technology.
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Busy TAA People: Frank Christ writing weekly newspaper column
TAA member Frank Christ, a distance education textbook author, is writing a weekly column, "Dear Prof" for the Sierra Vista Herald (Sierra Vista, AZ). The column answers learning or study skills questions. Read his 2/26/2011 "Dear Prof" column
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Eight candidates running for seats on TAA Council
Eight candidates are running for three open positions on the TAA Council. Former TAA President John Wakefield is running unopposed for Vice President/President-Elect. TAA members R. Thomas Berner, Robert Christopherson, Christopher R. Harris, Sandra M. Harris, Kevin Patton, Michael Lennie and Barbara Waxer are running for two open seats on the TAA Council.
View the candidate's statements and bios
Terms begin July 1, 2011. Officers serve two-year terms and Council members serve three-year terms. Ballots will be mailed to members this week. They must be postmarked by April 15 to ensure counting.
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