Agents offer authors mixed advice on Google

<p>Agents are offering mixed advice on whether authors should opt out of the Revised Google Book Settlement. William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, which caused a minor storm in the US last year when it recommended that its authors opt out of the original deal, has now also advised its authors on both sides of the Atlantic to opt out of the Revised Google Book Settlement.</p><p>The deadline for rights holders to opt out of the Settlement is 28th January and <a href="../news/109845-authors-confused-as-google-opt-out-deadline-nears.html" target="_blank" title=" authors say they are &quot;confused&quot; by the options</a>. Some agents say they will inform, but cannot guide, on the issue. One, who preferred to remain anonymous, said it was &quot;a personal decision&quot; which agents couldn&#39;t make on their authors&#39; behalf. &quot;It&#39;s very difficult to know what the future is going to be,&quot; she said. &quot;We&#39;ve had mixed responses because authors are of different minds.&quot;</p><p>Eugenie Furniss, head of the UK literary division of William Morris Endeavor, in London, said: &quot;We&#39;ve been in touch with all our authors and we are recommending they opt out. Our lawyer stateside feels the terms of the Settlement are contrary to copyright law and he doesn&#39;t see why Google should get that advantage. The changes to the Settlement didn&#39;t seem material to us.&quot;</p><p>Anthony Goff of David Higham Associates said his personal viewpoint had shifted against the Settlement. &quot;When authors complain that it is confusing and complex, the fact is it IS very confusing and complex,&quot; he said.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;ve talked to some authors who have embraced it as an undiluted good, as a terrific opportunity to make out of print work available again. But it is unclear how much money authors will make from it. I think it is quite a small amount, but none of us know. Another consideration is, how difficult will it be get authors to maintain and police the use of their work? My suspicion is it will be pretty complex - if they don&#39;t understand it now, how easy will they find it later? Will they have the understanding, or the patience, to police the use of their work?&quot;</p><p>Goff added: &quot;It&#39;s a complex decision. If authors want a nudge, I personally might nudge some of them. It will be a difficult situation and there may be some dangers.&quot;</p>