I’m concentrating in health care at the law school at graduation – but surprisingly, I’m also super close to concentrating in IP law too. But–I’ve got to write one more paper on an IP issue in order to concentrate in IP law at law school before I graduate. (And a few other things, including a GPA criteria, but I’ve not looked at my transcript lately…) Anywho…I’ve been thinking a lot about Google Books, and Spotify.
While this might not be perfect fodder for an IP paper, I think they should get together and go bowling. Here’s why.
Google (in this AUTHOR’S opinion) was wrong on scanning and giving away parts or all of books that are currently under copyright. (Including some of my own in the past, until I sent them some notice and takedown under section 512 of DMCA). They were violating copyright. And even though I think they’ve settled, I haven’t received any notice that they are actually paying copyright holders for licensing their books. (Or, at least, I’ve not received any checks. Maybe my check got lost in the mail. Hmph.)
The other thing I’ve been thinking about is Spotify. Aside from their annoyingly loud commercials that interrupt my Dvorak or Chopin occasionally, it is a pretty boss free service that anyone with a computer and internet access can get to. However, they did license deals with the record labels on the back end, so it’s my understanding that every time a song plays on Spotify, someone is getting paid (kind of like the Angel getting his wings on It’s a Wonderful Life, but probably not that prolific). What that rate is…? I don’t know. It was reported online they paid out $61M in 2010. But at least they are giving props to someone who owns a copyright. Too bad it’s just music.
What I think Google SHOULD have done was strike license deals with publishers and authors of copyrighted material beforehand–like Spotify did. Furthermore, Google should have sold books in a different way from Amazon, B&N and other booksellers–like chapters for musical tracks (chapter 1 of a book for $3.99, then the rest of the chapters for $1.99 for example.) Rather than giving everything away for free and totally violating copyright laws, or selling the entire ebook like everyone else does, why not try a DIFFERENT way of selling it? Also, someone needs to RENT books just like movies online. I don’t need access to a book forever, but for a week or two, I’d pay a lower price to rent it–AND I’d be more motivated to get it read more quickly.
On the Spotify side, when are they going to start selling tracks on their site? There’s stuff on there that isn’t on iTunes. I’d buy it from ya, Spotify…just sayin’.
Dear Spotify and Google executives: get together. Go bowling. Have some beers, maybe (assuming, of course, everyone is over 21, which could be a stretch for high tech companies such as these). I think the two of you could get some amazing selling strategies going for us out here in the ether. Or Spotify and Amazon. Just someone please start thinking about different ways to sell books! This author needs to get her ideas out there…and I also need new fresh ideas from new music and books as a reader, too. I’d just like more than one way to buy those, please….