Government slammed by authors over Google

<p>The government&#39;s stance on the revised Google Settlement has been heavily criticised by authors, with novelist Nick Harkaway calling it &quot;a statement of crawling weakness&quot;.</p><p>A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation &amp; Skills (DBIS) last week confirmed that the government would not be lodging an objection to the settlement, saying it was &quot;right&quot; that the Publishers Association &quot;leads in this process&quot;. The PA has backed the revised settlement.</p><p>Novelists Graham Swift, Clare Morrall and Philip Pullman are the latest to have opted out.</p><p>Children&#39;s author Diana Kimpton said it made &quot;absolutely no sense at all&quot; for publishers to negotiate the future of out-of-print books whose rights have reverted to the author. Writer Charles Butler said: &quot;The Publishers Association exists to look after the interests of publishers&nbsp;.&nbsp;.&nbsp;. these are assuredly not identical with those of authors and other rights-holders.&quot;</p><p>Harkaway said while the government claims it wants to protect copyright in the internet age, &quot;it refuses to engage with what may be the largest infringement of intellectual property which has ever taken place&quot;. He added: &quot;It&#39;s a statement of crawling weakness; they&#39;re happy to send summonses to teenagers over filesharing, but terrified of upholding the rights of UK authors against the actions of a vastly powerful media entity.&quot;</p><p>Responding to the criticism, the DBIS said &quot;an industry-led solution, involving both publishers and authors, is the best and most efficient way forward in this case&quot;.</p>